The Perseids peak this week - here's when and where to see them

Mark your calendars - the Perseid meteor showers will be reaching their peak this week.

The Perseids are considered to be the best meteor showers of the entire year, known for especially bright and frequent meteors for stargazers to observe. The Perseids get their name from the constellation Perseus as that’s where they seem to originate from in our night sky.

These meteor showers occur from July 17 to August 24, but the peak viewing time will be August 12 and 13, this Friday and Saturday.

To see these meteor showers, just look to the northeastern sky between 10pm and dawn. This year, it is predicted that the best time to view the Perseids will be Friday night around 11pm.

If you’re looking for somewhere to go to enjoy these meteor showers, the Elkhart County Parks Department is throwing a Perseid Party at Ox Bow Park in Goshen Friday night.

There’s no cost and a snack will be provided to attendees. There will also be people there to help teach you how to spot constellations and how to use a telescope.

While the event technically starts at 10pm, you can come early to enjoy a Movie in the Park. An English showing will be held at 6pm and a Spanish showing will be held at 8:15pm.

Unfortunately, something else will be happening in space near the end of the week that will make it harder to see the Perseids - not just a full moon, but a supermoon.

A supermoon means that the moon looks bigger and brighter than your average full moon. This full moon is also known as the Sturgeon moon due to sturgeon fish being more readily available during this time of year in our own Great Lakes.

The Sturgeon Supermoon will rise Thursday night, right as the peak of the Perseids is approaching. The brightness given off by the moon can make it much harder to see features in the night sky, let alone meteor showers.

In a typical year, stargazers could see 50-60 meteors per hour, but with the light pollution from the supermoon this year, it’ll be more likely to only see 10-20 meteors per hour.

Right now, our moon is around 80%, so it will still be bright, but your chances of seeing the Perseids might be better earlier in the week.

Tonight, we’ll still be seeing scattered rain showers and thunderstorms, so you won’t have great odds of seeing the Perseids this evening, but we’ll be seeing much better sky conditions Tuesday and Wednesday night. You’ll have better chances of seeing some meteors these nights when skies are clearer.

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