Perseid Meteor Shower in 2016
The 2016 Perseid meteor shower will peak on August 12 and 13. A waxing gibbous Moon will make it harder for observers to watch the meteor shower.
When Can I See the Perseids?
The best time to view the Perseids, or most other meteor showers is when the sky is the darkest. Most astronomers suggest that depending on the Moon’s phase, the best time to view meteor showers is right before dawn.
Made of tiny space debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle, the Perseids are named after the constellation Perseus. This is because the direction, or radiant, from which the shower seems to come in the sky lies in the same direction as the constellation Perseus, which can be found in the north-eastern part of the sky.
While the skies light up several time a year by other meteor showers , the Perseids are widely sought after by astronomers and stargazers. This is because at its peak, one can see 60 to a 100 meteors in an hour from a dark place.
Where Can I See the Perseids?
The Perseids can be seen in the Northern Hemisphere. Look between the radiant, which will be in the north-east part of the sky and the zenith (the point in sky directly above you).
While you can easily see a shooting star with the naked eye just looking straight up, the table below shows the exact direction of the Perseids from your location.
Location in the Sky TonightSlight chance to see Perseids, table below is updated daily and shows position for coming night.
|Perseids meteor shower for San Francisco (Night between Jul 30 and Jul 31)|
|Sat 9:00 PM||11°||7.5°|
|Sat 10:00 PM||18°||10.5°|
|Sat 11:00 PM||25°||14.8°|
|Sun 1:00 AM||36°||27.0°|
|Sun 2:00 AM||40°||34.3°|
|Sun 3:00 AM||42°||42.1°|
|Sun 4:00 AM||42°||50.0°|
|Sun 5:00 AM||39°||57.7°|
- Azimuth is the direction, based on true north, a compass might show a slightly different value.
- Altitude is height in degrees over horizon.
Set your location
How to Watch Meteor Showers
- Check the weather: Meteors, or shooting stars, are easy to spot, all you need is clear skies and a pair of eyes.
- Get out of town: Find a place as far away as possible from artificial lights
- Prepare to wait: Bring something to sit or lie down on. Star gazing is a waiting game, so get comfortable.
In This Article
- When Can I See the Perseids?
- Comet Swift-Tuttle
- Where Can I See the Perseids?
- How to Watch Meteor Showers