Clear night skies forecast for 2020 Perseids meteor shower peak over Bulgaria

James Marshall
August 10, 2020

Just one word of caution to skywatchers: The August moon will be slightly past its last quarter phase just when the Perseid meteor shower will be peaking.

The wait is over and stargazers are gearing up for one of the top-rated meteor showers of the year, but clouds could disrupt the event for about one-third of the United States.

Although they appear big from Earth, the Perseid meteors are actually tiny pieces of debris from the tail of the Comet Swift-Tuttle.

It's nearly time for the most popular meteor shower of the year to peak this week. Under optimal conditions - clear, moonless dark skies - at its peak, the shower can produce up to 100 meteors an hour.

However, the view should be better than a year ago, when the moon was very close to its full phase. However, the moon is set to rise by around 1 a.m. local time and will bring with it natural light pollution, making it more hard to see some of the fainter meteors.

It is important not to look at any source of light during while out looking for shooting stars, which includes cell phone screens. "That's when the part of the Earth that you are on is moving into the stream of meteors". That means finding a good, dark-sky location, such as a park or a beach.

The annual Perseids meteor shower will peak in Bulgaria's night skies from August 11 to 13.

"The Geminid meteor shower in December produces about the same number of meteors". There's no need for a telescope or even binoculars.

The radiant point for the Perseids will rise above the horizon by around 11 p.m. local time and will continue to climb higher in the sky as the night progresses. But you don't have to look exactly in that direction to see the meteors. "Don't sit in a normal chair and look up, you neck will quickly get exhausted", Samuhel said. Though earlier in the night isn't the most active time for meteors, the ones that you will see will likely be more spectacular as a result.

And you don't have to look straight up because more meteors will be seen at somewhat lower elevations. The meteors will be able to be seen in all areas of the sky, according to AccuWeather.com. Of course, as the constellation rises, so, too, does the moon.

While this meteor shower can be seen nightly from late July to mid-August, the spectacle can be viewed most prominently in early hours of August 12. However, the number of meteors visible will gradually decrease each night.

And, if you're willing to go the distance, you can pull an all-nighter or wake up very early in the morning, as the best time to see meteors will be in the few hours before sunrise on Wednesday.

For its shining moment this month, the meteor shower can be viewed in the North Hemisphere typically after midnight on Tuesday and before dawn on Wednesday, according to the Canadian Space Agency.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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