Jump to content


Perseids 2013

Recommended Posts


In astronomy, there's nothing quite like a bright meteor streaking across the glittering canopy of a moonless night sky. The unexpected flash of light adds a dash of magic to an ordinary walk under the stars.

New research by NASA has just identified the most magical nights of all.

"We have found that one meteor shower produces more fireballs than any other," explains Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. "It's the Perseid meteor shower, which peaks on August 12th and 13th."

Using a network of meteor cameras distributed across the southern USA, Cooke's team has been tracking fireball activity since 2008, and they have built up a database of hundreds of events to analyze. The data point to the Perseids as the 'fireball champion' of annual meteor showers.


Since 2008, the Perseids have produced more fireballs than any other annual meteor shower. The Geminids are a close second, but they are not as bright as the Perseids. "The average peak magnitude for a Perseid observed by our cameras is -2.7; for the Geminids, it is -2," explains Bill Cooke. "So on average, Geminid fireballs are about a magnitude fainter than those in the Perseids."

Cooke recommends looking on the nights of August 12th and 13th between the hours of 10:30 PM to 4:30 AM local time. Before midnight the meteor rate will start out low, then increase as the night wears on, peaking before sunrise when the constellation Perseus is high in the sky.

For every fireball that streaks out of Perseus, there will be dozens more ordinary meteors.

"Get away from city lights," advises Cooke. "While fireballs can be seen from urban areas, the much greater number of faint Perseids is visible only from the countryside."

In total, the Perseid meteor rate from dark-sky sites could top 100 per hour.

That’s a lot of magic. Enjoy the show.




Looking forward to this one!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can't wait for it to be dark enough for me to see them! I remember a perseid fireball a couple of years back that must have peaked at about mag -8 (Not sure exactly, not many objects of that brightness to compare it to). It was so big and bright that it left a visible vapour trail

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Same here, I've seen a number each night. Hopefully I can catch one or two on camera this week as well.

Also I'm seriously considering observing this years on a pool lounge with beer holder.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Myself and Mark saw what for me was the brightest meteor I have seen last night at approx 9.30 heading south and it was still twilight. We both said if it had have been dark it would have probably have cast a shadow it was that bright. During the evening we saw a couple more that were very bright but nowhere near as bright as the first one and countless others. It was a good show and it is still two days until peak so I'm hoping for a clear sky. We stayed out until dawn and the evening was exceptional all round. Good luck everyone..:)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Myself and 7 other CSOGers were out last night, once the clouds cleared at 11.30pm we were treated to some cracking meteors, most of mine were small bright white streaks - a few leaving smoky trails, whilst a few caught bright orange streaks and trails. A good start to our dark season :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Never been Big on the Perseids. I'm a Gemenids kinda guy :)

They have never come close to the hype in my experience. I don't mean popular press hype either. I know what to expect from a meteor shower!

Anyway we're up at our dark cumbrian second home this weekend but all yesterday was cloudy and drizzly. It was raining as I went to bed last night so definitely no Perseids for me.

The dog has been a bit off colour for a few days, so she when she got restless during the night I got up and let her outside at about 3:30. When I looked up I was dazzled by the milky way arching overhead. Most of the sky was very clear and the stars were beautiful.

I was so taken aback by the sight that I forgot about the Perseids for a few minutes and just took the stars in. Jupiter was brilliant low in the east where the dawn was just gathering.

Remembering the Perseids I positioned my self for the best all sky view and waited and waited. I was outside for about 15 minutes before a bank of cloud came rolling in and the dawn brightened. I never saw a single Perseid!!

I'll try again over the next couple of nights but won't be here with the dark sky.

Oh well, I'm looking forward to the Gemenids already....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't see any last night but caught 2 faint ones on the 50mm which I didn't expect although I'm disappointed as I must of knocked focus and it's ever so slightly off.

Plus I think shorter exposures are the way to go and not 2 minutes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Saw a few last night inbetween the broken cloud , hoping for a decent show tonight if the weather permits.

Best sight I saw last night was about 500 geese in skeins of twenty or so flying North-west over about a twenty minute slot around midnight , all beautifully lit from underneath .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does anyone know what the weather forecast is for tonight and tomorrow? One site I checked was predicating around 75% cloud cover tonight but clear tomorrow for West Sussex.

There is a weak ridge of high pressure developing which will melt away some of the cloud. But it really is pot luck.

All anyone can say is that tonight will be a better night than last night for many. There is still going to be a lot of cloud blowing around. Where it will be at any given time and how thick is just a guessing game.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.