Perseid Meteor Shower

This week presents an opportunity to enjoy a meteor shower. Thursday night (12th August) around 1am will be the peak of this shower although they are visible for a few nights either side, weather permitting of course. Thursday night is looking clear. The Perseid meteor shower is one of the Regular Meteor Showers, and which are visible either side of the main date in those quiet hours before dawn (it is advisable to check the press for up-to-date information and weather before embarking on a session. You may come across the Zenithal Hourly Rate, this is just the term given to the number of meteors likely to be seen directly overhead. Did I mention it might be a good idea to use a sun lounger? You will be looking up at a wide area of the night sky so lying down on something dry and comfortable is a good idea. The Perseids are an enjoyable holiday treat as, if you are fortunate enough to be on holiday, the late night will be less of an issue and the nights are less cold at this time of year. The meteor shower comes from the tail of Comet Swift-Tuttle and emanates from the constellation of Perseus (referred to astronomically as the radiant). This year (2021) the moon will not be visible, so there will be no light pollution from that source and the Zenithal Hourly Rate is said to be around 30-60 meteors (this is the amount of meteors likely to seen overhead). I treasure my memory of a family holiday a few years’ ago when we set the alarm for 3am to enjoy the Perseids and were rewarded by the sight of quite a few trails. And the faces on the security guys as they wondered whether we were ok. Perhaps we did look a bit odd in our dressing gowns wandering around a holiday park at night but, hey, it was worth it, and we spread meteor watching fever onto those men too.

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