August 13-22, 2002
2002 offers an excellent opportunity to view the Perseids. The
Perseids, one of the most famous showers, will peak during the pre-
dawn hours of August 13th, but some may be spotted now through August
22nd. The Perseids have a peak rate of 65 - 70 meteors per hour.
This year the Moon is being cooperative and will not interfere with
this year's display. In the northern hemisphere the radiant of this
shower rises in the Northeast in the early evening. While some may be
seen as early as 10 PM your local time, the shower rates increase
considerably after midnight.
North American observers have a choice of days as they can view
during the pre-dawn hours on both August 12th and 13th. While Europe
is favored for the actual peak, North America should see a very nice
display in the pre-dawn hours on both days.
European observers will be favored for the actual peak and your rates
will be highest between midnight and dawn on the 13th.
Unfortunately for southern hemisphere observers, the Perseids are not
favored for viewing in your area as the radiant will not rise above
your horizon. However it may be possible to observe a few
earthgrazers rising from below your northern horizon as dawn
To view the Perseids, generally view toward the east, but remember
Perseids can and will appear anywhere in your skies. So while the
East is preferred, view upward toward the darkest, least obstructed
portion of your sky. Find something comfortable to sit or lie upon in
an area away from skyglow of urban areas if possible. Don't forget to
dress appropriately and if you live in a hot, humid area as I do, you
may want to have some insect repellant handy. :)
Perseid meteors are caused by the orbital debris left by comet Swift-
Tuttle. Swift-Tuttle was discovered in 1862 and it has an orbital
period of about 130 years. It last visited our solar system during
the summer of 1992.
Note: A special thank you to John, list owner of MeteorShowers at YahooGroups
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