Sunday, August 03, 2008

The short and snappy answer is that they're already here. Before you panic you should know that you still have plenty of time until the peak in the early hours of August 12. The Perseids actually extend from July 17th to August 24, growing in frequency towards the peak and declining thereafter.
The predicted peak will be at 11:30 UT. That's 6:30 am local time here in Winnipeg in the Central Time zone. To find out what time this is in your own local time zone consult the Time and Date website. This website also has the times of Moonrise and Moonset, an important thing as there will be a waxing gibbous Moon in the sky that could interfere with viewing. The Moon,however, will be setting near midnight, long before the time of best viewing. The constellation Perseus will be above the horizon through almost all of the night, rising higher as time goes on. This year there may be secondary and even tertiary peaks (at 16:40 UT and 21:30 UT, August 12. ), but they won't be visible from North America. Predictions are that the best viewing will be around the Pacific, including the west coast of North America and east Asia.
For more about the Perseids see the International Meteor Organization , especially their calender section.

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