Starwatchers: 2021 Perseid meteor shower peaks Thursday 


The Perseid meteor shower is an annual event. The 2021 Perseid has been active since July 17. And will continue through August 24. According to the American Meteor Society, peak viewing time in the Northern Hemisphere is August 11th, 12th, and 13th when maximum comet activity is expected.

This meteor system originated from comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle. Every year the Earth moves through the path of debris left behind by the Swift-Tuttle. This debris was created during the comet’s last trip past the sun in 1992. Whenever a comet passes close to the sun it sheds dusty, icy, and rocky debris substances in a stream behind its orbit. 

When the comet’s stream enters Earth’s atmosphere it becomes a meteor shower.

This is one of the best meteor showers of the year. A new moon will appear on Sunday, August 8th. This means that the Moon is lost in the glare of the Sun and completely invisible which will darken the skies a few days before the shower’s peak. 

Then with the waxing crescent moon on August 12th the moon’s brightness will remain muted.