The best conditions for observing the Perseids prevailed until about Wednesday, August 10.
As previously reported by Petr Horálek from the Institute of Physics of the University of Silesia in Opava, the night of the maximum of this swarm this year falls on the night of August 12 to 13. At that time, however, viewing meteors will be made significantly more difficult by the moon, which will be just one night after the full moon. And it will also be angularly larger and brighter than usual.
Ideally, people should look for the Perseids in the sky between three o’clock in the morning and dawn. The constellation Perseus, from where the meteors seem to fly, rises high above the horizon at that time.
The Perseid swarm is active from about mid-July to mid-August. Their frequency increases gradually, then sharply decreases after the maximum.
“The average hourly frequency at the maximum is up to 100 meteors, but the observation will be significantly disturbed by the Moon just after the full moon, so many weaker meteors will disappear in its glow,” added the representatives of the Astronomical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in Ondřejov.
Due to bad conditions, the traditional joint commented observation of the Perseid on the meadow near the Ondřejovské observatory is not taking place this year.
The first mentions of the Perseid meteor shower date from the 3rd century. People then noticed the meteors shortly after the martyrdom of Saint Lawrence. That is why they are sometimes called the Tears of St. Lawrence. These are dust particles from Comet 109P Swift-Tuttle, which last came close to the Sun in December 1992. It will not happen again until 2126.
Astronomers, who refer to the end of this week as an “astronomical weekend”, also remind us that the planet Saturn “reigns” in the August sky. On Sunday, August 14, it will come into opposition with the Sun and at the same time closest to the Earth: at a distance of 1.325 billion kilometers.
“Therefore, it is visible in the sky all night, although not high, at most it reaches a height of 25 degrees above the south. Even a small telescope will show Saturn’s rings and the brightest moon Titan,” the scientists mentioned.