The 2004 Perseid Meteor Shower is Promising to Be Unusually Good

August 10, 2004

The annual Perseid meteor shower is coming, and forecasters say it could be unusually good. The shower begins, gently, in mid-July when Earth enters the outskirts of a cloud of debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle. Dust-sized meteoroids hitting the atmosphere will streak across the night sky, at first only a sprinkling, just a few each night, but the rate will build.

By August 12th when the shower peaks, sky watchers can expect to see dozens, possibly even hundreds, of meteors per hour.

If predictions are correct, Earth will plow through the filament on Wednesday, August 11th at 2100 UT (5 p.m. EDT). This will produce a surge of mostly-faint meteors over Europe and Asia. Observers might see "as many as 200 meteors per hour," says Cooke, who recommends getting away from city lights to watch the flurry.

Later that night, observers in North America can see the "traditional Perseid peak" caused by the older dust from Swift-Tuttle.

The best time to look for these "traditional Perseids" is during the hours before dawn on Thursday, August 12th. Set your alarm for 2 o'clock in the morning; go outside; lie down on a sleeping bag with your toes pointed northeast. You'll soon see meteors racing along the Milky Way.

More information here.

Explore further: Annual Perseid meteor shower promises a fine display

Related Stories

Annual Perseid meteor shower promises a fine display

July 29, 2015

The annual Perseid meteor shower is one of the best and most reliable meteor showers of the year. It peaks every year around the 12th/13th August, and under ideal conditions produces a maximum frequency of meteors, or zenith ...

Image: Watching meteors from the space station

June 29, 2015

stronaut Ron Garan, Expedition 28 flight engineer, tweeted this image from the International Space Station in August, 2011 with the following caption: "What a `Shooting Star' looks like from space, taken yesterday during ...

2012 Perseid Meteor Shower

August 10, 2012

On the nights of Aug. 11th through 13th, the best meteor shower of the year will fill pre-dawn skies with hundreds of shooting stars. And that's just for starters. The brightest planets in the solar system are lining up ...

How to enjoy the 2011 Perseid meteor shower

August 12, 2011

It’s time for the Perseid Meteor Shower and you want to bag some meteors (shooting stars), but how? Maybe you just want to know where and what time to look, or perhaps you are having a Perseid party and you want everyone ...

Recommended for you

How bees naturally vaccinate their babies

July 31, 2015

When it comes to vaccinating their babies, bees don't have a choice—they naturally immunize their offspring against specific diseases found in their environments. And now for the first time, scientists have discovered how ...

Binary star system precisely timed with pulsar's gamma-rays

July 31, 2015

Pulsars are rapidly rotating compact remnants born in the explosions of massive stars. They can be observed through their lighthouse-like beams of radio waves and gamma-rays. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.