Perseid Meteor Shower Peak

Perseid Meteor Shower Peak
The 2019 Perseid meteor shower peaks overnight on Aug. 12-13, 2019. This sky map shows where to look at 11 p.m. local time this weekend. (Image credit: Sky & Telescope Magazine)

BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - The Perseid Meteor Shower will peak in less than a week, August 12-13, 2019. It is not expected to be as spectacular as the 2016 meteor shower partly because the moon will be close to full. This month’s full moon is on the 15th.

The annual Perseid meteor shower occurs when the Earth passes through a stream of dust from the Comet Swift-Tuttle, as shown in this orbit diagram.(Image credit: Sky & Telescope Magazine)
The annual Perseid meteor shower occurs when the Earth passes through a stream of dust from the Comet Swift-Tuttle, as shown in this orbit diagram.(Image credit: Sky & Telescope Magazine)

On August 12th: Moonrise will be at 6:01 PM, Moonset will be at 4:33 AM on the 13th. So, the optimal time for South Mississippians to catch the Perseid Meteor Shower will be between 4:30 AM and 5:30 AM, give or take a few minutes.

Not to worry though, the Perseids usually have some bright burners, and you could see 10-15 meteors each hour. It will be harder to see the smaller ones because of the moonlight from the almost full moon.

The 2019 Perseid meteor shower peaks overnight on Aug. 12-13, 2019. This sky map shows where to look at 11 p.m. local time this weekend. (Image credit: Sky & Telescope Magazine)
The 2019 Perseid meteor shower peaks overnight on Aug. 12-13, 2019. This sky map shows where to look at 11 p.m. local time this weekend. (Image credit: Sky & Telescope Magazine)

As always with meteor showers, the best way to view is grab a blanket to lie on; get away from light preferably in an open field, and don’t forget your bug spray.

As of now, the weather looks to be pretty good for viewing, as any of the afternoon and evening showers should dissipate in the overnight hours.

If you’re going to be out watching for meteors look for the four visible planets, as well: Mars, Saturn, Venus and Jupiter.

“Skywatchers looking out for the Perseids should also be able to see Mars (visible until about 4 a.m. in your local time zone) and Saturn (visible until about 2 a.m. local time); Venus and Jupiter both set before the Perseids are best viewed (9:30 p.m. and 11 p.m., respectively),” according to Space.com.

Check out this article on earthsky.org about when to see and where to look to find the brightest planets.

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