NewsCovering Colorado

Actions

Perseid Meteor Shower to fight a full moon this weekend

Kurt Schmidt CBMR Crested Butte Perseid Meteor Shower.jpg
Perseid Meteor Shower over Pikes Peak
Perseid Meteor Shower Pueblo Reservoir Lars Leber Photography.jpg
Perseid Meteor Shower at Lake Marie Wyoming Lars Leber Photography.jpg
Joe Randall Perseid Meteor Shower.jpg
Posted at 11:29 AM, Aug 11, 2022

It's a battle the world hasn't seen since Rocky took on the Soviet Union in 1985.

This weekend, a full moon will fight with the most popular meteor shower of the year for visibility!

What are the Perseids?

Perseid Meteor Shower at Lake Marie Wyoming Lars Leber Photography.jpg
Perseid Meteor Shower at Lake Marie in Wyoming

The Perseids are an annual meteor shower that peaks on August nights in the northern hemisphere.

Considered one of the most popular meteor showers of the year, the Perseids are great for viewing because they occur on warm Summer nights with bright skies and a high meteor rate per hour.

What causes them?

Joe Randall Perseid Meteor Shower.jpg
Perseid Meteor Shower at Twin Lakes

The Perseid meteor shower comes from Earth passing through the Swift-Tuttle comet's orbit. The Swift-Tuttle comet has a 16-mile wide nucleus, making it the largest known object to repeatedly pass Earth.

As Earth passes through the trail of the comet, pieces of dust and debris fall through our atmosphere. The bright lights you're seeing are these pieces of debris burning up as they travel at 37 miles per second.

When and how to see the meteor shower?

Kurt Schmidt CBMR Crested Butte Perseid Meteor Shower.jpg
Perseid Meteor Shower over the lifts at Crested Butte

The best time to see the Perseids will be from 10pm -5am Friday and Saturday night. This is when Earth will be passing through the dustiest and most dense part of the Tuttle-Swift comet path.

Light from the full moon will likely prevent most people from seeing the meteor shower with their naked eyes.

Your best bet is to find a spot in the state with the least amount of light pollution, turn your back to the moon, and wait at least 15 to 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the darkness.

Normal meteor rates are 50-75 meteors per hour, or roughly one meteor per minute. The longer you can patiently wait and stare at the sky, the more you'll see through the pre-dawn hours Wednesday.

Perseid Forecast.png
Perseid Meteor Shower forecast for 8/12 - 8/13 in 2022.

The forecast calls for clear skies at night across the I-25 corridor and eastern plains Friday and Saturday night. If you go west into the mountains, you could see cloud cover linger into the late evening.

As mentioned above, a full moon will make the meteors difficult to see with your naked eye, but a camera with the right exposure settings could capture a few flybys.

Perseid Meteor Shower Pueblo Reservoir Lars Leber Photography.jpg
Perseid Meteor Shower over the Pueblo Reservoir

Please share any photos of videos of the Perseids with use here at KOAA!

You can do this by posting them to the KOAA Facebook page or sending an email to mypics@koaa.com or weather@koaa.com