Crestone Weather Center
Crestone, Colorado
 

 


(photo courtesy of NASA)

 

 

 Perseid Meteor Shower
(posted Aug 5, 2018)

 


The Perseids are the most popular meteor shower of the year; and this year, they'll be the best shower of the year. During the Perseids' peak this month, we should see about 60-70 meteors per hour, but in the best of years (such as in 2016) the rate can be between 150-200 meteors an hour. The meteor shower's peak will be visible both the nights of Aug. 11-12 and Aug. 12-13, but most experts are leaning toward the night of Aug. 12-13 for the better show (but both nights should be spectacular regardless).

The window for the current Perseid meteor shower is right now, up till August 24. So you will see some of  the shower at any point during this time, but again, the peak will occur between August 12 and August 13. The best time to take a look at the sky will be from after midnight, until the onset of dawn twilight.

To see it, look at a height approximately two-thirds up the sky in any direction. However, east through south always seems the best direction to look in the greater Crestone area, and it offers some great background constellations to also look at in the early hours during August. Look for the shower's "radiant" from the north-east corner of Perseus.

Also some great news about the moon for this shooting star event, too! This year the moon will be near new moon, it will be a crescent, and it will set before the Perseid show gets totally underway after midnight. So our moon is very favorable for the Perseids this year, and with that, it could be the best shower of 2018 because of that fact alone.

2018 Major Meteor Showers (Class I)




Shower Radiant/Direction Activity Period Max Date # per hr* Comet
Quadrantids (QUA)** Draco (NE) Jan 1-Jan 12 Jan 04 60 to100 2003 EH
Lyrids (LYR) Lyra (E) Apr 18-Apr 25 Apr 22 10 to 20 Thatcher
Eta Aquarids (ETA)** Aquarius (E) Apr 24-May 19 May 06 20 to 60 Halley
Delta Aquarids (SDA)** Aquarius (S) Jul 21-Aug 23 Jul 29 17 96P/Machholz
Perseids (PER) Perseus (NE) Jul 13-Aug 26 Aug 13 60 - 100 Swift-Tuttle
Orionids (ORI)** Orion (SE) Aug 25-Nov 19 Oct 21 15 Halley
Southern Taurid (STA) Taurus (S) Sept 8 -Nov 20 Nov 5 5 to 10 2P/Encke
Leonids (LEO)** Leo (E)** Nov 5-Dec 03 Nov 18 10 to 20 Temple-Tuttle
Geminids (GEM) Gemini (S) Nov 30-Dec 17 Dec 14 95 to 120 3200 Phaethon?
Ursids (URS)** Ursa Minor (N) Dec 17-Dec 24 Dec 22 10 8P/Tuttle

*# per hour is for a moonless rural sky/** Strong moonlight will interfere with these showers in 2018

 

There are meteor showers taking place every day/night of the year, but many are hard to see. The meteor showers listed above are the easiest to observe and provide the most activity. Particular attention should be noted to the time and moonlight conditions. All of these showers are best seen after midnight. Some are not even visible until after midnight. Showers that peak with the moon at half or more full will be affected by the moonlight and difficult to observe. While the time each shower is best seen remains much the same year after year, the moonlight conditions change considerably from one year to the next.

Crestone Current Weather Conditions