Meteor shower peaks on August 12

An impressive display of meteors will move across the sky on Friday, August 12, (2005) when the Perseid meteor shower becomes most visible. Peak viewing times will be from 2 a.m. until sunrise that morning, according to NASA experts. Because of interference from urban lights, viewing is best outside of the city. The Perseid meteor shower occurs every summer, when the tail behind Comet Swift-Tuttle intersects with Earth's orbit, causing comet dust to enter Earth's atmosphere. Meteors from the comet travel from the direction of the constellation Perseus, which gives the shower its name.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

mjsaenz's picture
mjsaenz says:

About the Perseids - are there any recommended viewing spots close to the St Paul area? I'd like to avoid a long late-night drive to find darkness.\r\n\r\nThanks...

posted on Fri, 08/05/2005 - 4:56pm
bryan kennedy's picture has some Perseid viewing tips. Unfortunately it will be hard to get a great view here in the city where there is tons of light pollution. However, you might try to get to some darker parts of the city.

I always feel like I am way out in the country when I drive down Water Street along the Mississippi River, but it's full of trees. You might also try up in Mounds Park, where is it pretty residential and out in the open.

Any other ideas about good places to watch the stars in the cities? Alas, your best bet is always going to be to get out away from urban areas.
bryan kennedy
Science Buzz Site Admin

posted on Wed, 08/10/2005 - 2:58pm
lau's picture
lau says:

I live in the Los Angeles area and there is definitely a huge amount of pollution in this area. But I was wondering if going to the beach would be a good idea in viewing the meteor shower.

posted on Wed, 08/01/2007 - 1:22pm
Joe's picture
Joe says:

I think getting away from the light pollution would help you see the meteor shower - and this year's Perseids meteor shower will peak on August 12 as well - and will be more visible due to a new moon not mucking up the sky. Here is where you can find more information about viewing the Perseids meteor shower.

posted on Wed, 08/01/2007 - 1:52pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i agree with you because the light pollution discauses us from seeing meteor showers!

posted on Wed, 08/01/2007 - 3:30pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

You generally see more meteors if you face east than if you face west. I'd say, get up in the mountains, above the smog, away from the city lights, and look to the east.

posted on Wed, 08/01/2007 - 8:31pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i live in MN i'm 10 years old and tried staying up late till 10:00 that was yesterday fell asleep at 9:30

posted on Fri, 12/16/2011 - 9:31pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Afton State Park, a mere 30 minutes from St. Paul, offered us excellent stargazing on August 5, 2005. That is my bet for a great place to view the upcoming meteor shower.

posted on Wed, 08/10/2005 - 4:41pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Afton park outside of St. Paul is great, and some star Gazing clubs bring telescopes to that site. I just worry that there will still be effects from tonights full moon.

posted on Tue, 08/08/2006 - 3:39pm
RussD's picture
RussD says:

The weather for the Persieds looks pretty poor. But if it does clear, the Minnesota Astronomical Society will be hosting a Persied observing event at its Onan observatory at Baylor Park, near Young America, MN about 45 miles West of Minneapolis.

The event is free and open to the public!


posted on Thu, 08/11/2005 - 8:55am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I am doing a report on this for my science class i think it is a wonderful topic for children to learn about.

posted on Sat, 08/13/2005 - 10:00pm
Mari's picture
Mari says:

I couldn't see a thing out here in Southern California. Marine layer or maybe it was the moon. Who can be sure. But someone sent me a postcard from Arizona with stars and a cactus. It had to do. They know I celebrate the Persieds like a holiday. Like any holiday, half the fun is getting ready and dreaming dreams.

posted on Tue, 08/16/2005 - 8:49pm
Nicholas Rutherford's picture
Nicholas Rutherford says:

when did you see the shooting stars

posted on Fri, 08/19/2005 - 6:52pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Meteor shower peaks on August 12\r\nWhat Year? When was this writen?

posted on Wed, 02/08/2006 - 10:18am
Liza's picture
Liza says:

The original post and all follow-up comments (except for yours, mine, and everything after mine) were written in 2005.

posted on Wed, 02/08/2006 - 12:14pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

The major meteor showers for the remainder of 2006 are:

  • The Aquarids, April 19 to May 28, peaking on May 6
  • The Perseids, July 17 to August 29, peaking on August 12
  • The Leonids, November 14 through 21, peaking on November 19, and
  • The Geminids, December 7 through 17, peaking on December 14

More information on meteors, including a calendar listing all the known showers, may be found here.

posted on Wed, 02/08/2006 - 1:54pm
Tera's picture
Tera says:

I've watched this meteor shower every year for the past 4 years. Last year I counted 78 in the hour or so I was outside. I live around the Memphis,TN area, but I've always gone a little more south to watch it. It's gorgeous!

posted on Fri, 08/04/2006 - 12:35am
laura's picture
laura says:

Does anyone know what time should we look for the meteors in So. California on August 12th? We will be going to the mountains for a better view but not sure what is the best time.

Thanks for any info.


posted on Tue, 08/08/2006 - 6:23pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

On Aug. 12, Both Whitewater State Park, where members of the Hiawatha Valley Astronomical Society will provide telescopes, AND Wild River State Park, where slides of meteorite craters, will be shown, along with a walk onto the prairie for a veiw through telescopes, are offering perseid shows. Travel a bit. I always do.

posted on Fri, 08/11/2006 - 9:00pm
ellendaile's picture
ellendaile says:

Wow! This is the first time i can remember seeing "shooting stars!" i just saw two while driving down the road.

posted on Sat, 08/12/2006 - 10:27pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

We were on the shore of Lake Erie in Wheatley Ontario Canada at 10:30 to 11:00 and saw about 20 shooting stars. Our view was obstructed for most of that time by trees since we were unaware that there was a meteor shower that night we didn't move to an open area right away.

posted on Sun, 08/13/2006 - 6:52pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

I'm afraid I did not have a very good experience this year. Though the skies in mid-Michigan wee unusually clear, the moon was unusually large adn bright, washing out all but the brightest meteors. I only saw about three. But the shower continues for a few more days, though not at its peak. I'll go take another look tonight...

posted on Mon, 08/14/2006 - 3:01pm
me's picture
me says:

Hello? this is 2007!!!!! NOT 2005!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted on Thu, 08/09/2007 - 6:22pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

You are absolutely right. However, this thread was started in 2005 -- look at the date on the first post and on the subsequent comments. The Science Buzz Blog preserves all posts, going back to November 2004. Remember: the Internet is forever.

But never fear. In a comment above, Joe updated the information for 2007. The Perseids will peak on August 12 again this year, as they do evbery year (give or take a day).

posted on Thu, 08/09/2007 - 10:13pm
Suraj's picture
Suraj says:

Is this event clearly visible from south India?

posted on Fri, 08/10/2007 - 2:30am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Provided the skies are clear, it should be visible very low in the sky. Here's some info from NASA regarding the 2002 shower, but it should still hold true this year:

Because of the way the comet's orbit is tilted, dust from Swift-Tuttle falls on Earth's northern hemisphere. Viewed from Earth's surface, the meteors appear to flow from the constellation Perseus (hence the name Perseids). Perseus is easy to spot from Europe and North America, but it barely peeps above the horizon of, e.g., Australia and New Zealand. Southern hemisphere sky watchers will see very few Perseids.

The following is true no matter where you live: The best time to look for meteors is when Perseus is highest in the sky--between 2 a.m. and dawn.
On August 12th, set your alarm for 2 o'clock in the morning. Go outside; lie down on a sleeping bag or a reclining lawn chair with your toes pointed northeast; and gaze upward. Soon you'll see shooting stars racing along the Milky Way.

Repeat the procedure on August 13th. The shower's peak is long-lasting, and you're likely to count plenty of meteors on both days.

You might check with a local planetarium, astronomy club, or India-based astronomy website to find out where the constellation Perseus will be in the sky by you. In any event, you'll have the best viewing if you get away from city lights and in a dark, open field.

You can find more information about the Perseid meteor shower at the International Meteor Organization.

posted on Fri, 08/10/2007 - 10:29am
pasia thao's picture
pasia thao says:

this is awesome!!! rock and roll dude!!!
i dont really think about this stuffs ,,,,

posted on Fri, 08/10/2007 - 10:34am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

What are the times of viewing as the week continues on from Sunday thru Friday in the Chico CA area-------doesn't one have to start watching earlier in the evening rather than early in the morning/

posted on Sun, 08/12/2007 - 1:01am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

The meteors seem to emanate from the constellation Perseus, so whenever Perseus is visible in your area.

After midnight is usually best for just about all meteor showers, as that is when you will be facing into the shower.

I'm heading out myself in a few minutes...

posted on Sun, 08/12/2007 - 9:44pm
Clint's picture
Clint says:

I'm in Dallas TX, so I'm sure all of the surrounding city lights are going to interfere. But I was wondering if anyone knew about what time would be best to look?

I was planning on taking a glance outside some time between midnight and 2, but was curious if anyone may know a more acurate time.



posted on Sun, 08/12/2007 - 10:26pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Sorry this is late. That's about the best time. Did you see any? I was out in Lansing, Michigan, a little before midnight, and I saw one quite spectacular meteor. But I was dead tired from a long weekend. Even though the shower is past its peak, I'm going to try again tonight, weather permitting.

posted on Mon, 08/13/2007 - 2:07pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Here's a report from a blogger who went meteor hunting in Tennessee, and took his camera. He said the peak was from about 1:30 to 2:00 am.

posted on Mon, 08/13/2007 - 8:33pm

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