The early bird gets the worm, or in this case, an incredible spectacle of meteors showering through a starlit sky. The Perseid meteor shower is set to peak this August 2023.
Viewable from anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere, the Perseid meteor shower is produced upon Earth’s annual passage through a belt of debris left behind by the Swift-Tuttle comet. It is known by astronomers and zealous stargazers as one of the best celestial shows of the year, with more than 60 bright meteors visible per hour during the shower’s peak.
According to Almanac.com, “look for the meteors a few hours after midnight when the Moon is lower in the sky. Or, look in the dark hours before dawn when the Moon is setting. The meteor count is always highest in the pre-dawn hours when the skies are at their very darkest.” You can find your local moonrise time here.
It’s recommended that the best spots to witness the Perseid meteor near Los Angeles, like the Santa Monica Mountains, the Angeles National Forest, and Joshua Tree. It will be a perfect night for the Perseids because the moon will only be 10% illuminated, and won’t obstruct these glistening beauties.
Though rates of Perseids will be highest from the early morning hours of August 12 until August 13, the meteor shower will go on throughout August for at least another two weeks after its peak.The first record of this phenomenon can be traced back to 36 AD. Since then, numerous references to the showers have been recorded throughout the millennia. The showers get their name from the Perseus constellation of their origin.
While you might have picture-perfect 20/20 vision, you’d do yourself one better by heading out to anywhere that is less affected by light pollution and coming equipped with binoculars to get a closer look at the interstellar spectacle.
Check out this light pollution map to find a dark sky near you!