Indian star gazers are in for a treat as the annual Perseid Meteor Shower peaks on the night of August 12 through the morning of August 13. The shower will be visible to the naked eye, and there is no need for binoculars and telescopes as it appears for a fraction of seconds as shooting stars and can get as high as 100 meteors per hour.
“The best time to view Perseids Meteor Shower, the brightest constellation shower, from India on August 12 and 13 is from midnight to dawn,” Space India, the Delhi-based Science Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators, said in a statement on Saturday.
“The shower is visible pan India in the sky towards the north, although clouds and bad weather conditions are likely to effect the visibility at a few places,” the statement added.
The Perseids have been observed for at least 2,000 years and are associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the sun once every 133 years. Every August, the Earth passes through a cloud of the comet’s debris.This debris field consists of bits of ice and dust — most over 1,000 years old — and burns up in the Earth’s atmosphere to create one of the best meteor showers of the year.
The Perseids can be seen all over the sky, but the best viewing opportunities will be across the northern hemisphere.
The best Perseid performance occurred back in 1993 when the peak Perseid rate topped 300 meteors per hour. In 2016, there was an outburst of just over 200 meteors per hour.