Perseid meteor showers to peak this week

NASA says viewers may be limited to 15-20 Perseid meteors per hour due to the moon phase

SAN ANTONIO – The Perseid meteor showers will peak this week and we should have some clear skies here in San Antonio to view them.

The Perseids are visible each year between mid-July and late August. This year, Aug. 11-12 are expected to be peak viewing nights.

According to NASA, people may not be able to see as many meteors as in past years because of the last quarter Moon phase. Some years, there are more than 60 visible meteors per hour, while this year it will be about 15-20 per hour.

The Perseid meteors are actually pieces of debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle, the largest object known to repeatedly pass by Earth. According to NASA, the comet is 16 miles across — that’s almost twice the size of the object presumed to have led to the demise of dinosaurs.

Though the comet last passed by Earth in 1992, and won’t again until 2126, each year Earth passes through the dust and debris (rich in fireballs) it leaves behind, thus giving us the Perseid meteor shower.

NASA says even though the Perseids are visible as early as 10 p.m., they are best viewed in the predawn hours.

If you live in the middle of city lights, consider heading somewhere in the suburbs or countryside to get a better view.

Click here to find the best dark spot for optimal viewing of the meteor shower.

If you get video or pictures of the meteors, send them to us through KSAT Connect.

A Perseid meteor streaks across the sky over the Lovell Radio Telescope at Jodrell Bank on August 13, 2013 in Holmes Chapel, United Kingdom.
A Perseid meteor streaks across the sky between the hoodoos named Thor's Hammer (L) and the Three Sisters (R) early on August 13, 2016 in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah.

About the Authors:

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 20 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.