BEST TIME TO SEE: From 23 July to mid-August
The period from the third week of July until the end of August is an excellent time to look for meteors. The reason is mostly down to the Perseid meteor shower reaching its peak around 13 August. This event reliably produces good meteor rates at a time when it’s not too chilly outside.
However, not every year is ideal. For years when the Moon is in the sky around the peak, the number of meteors seen visually will fall. The reduction is quite dramatic with typically only the brightest trails being visible. Cameras are also affected but not as severely. As long as your exposure doesn’t allow the sky to oversaturate to white, any trails recorded should still be recoverable using a graphics editor to tweak the image’s levels.
The Moon is full during the morning of 15 August but also quite low in the sky. On the morning of 11 August, the 81%-lit waxing gibbous Moon sets around 01:30 BST (00:30 UT), providing a couple of dark hours to look out for Perseids. On the
morning of 12 August the now 88%-lit waxing crescent Moon sets around 02:20 BST (01:20 UT) providing a window of around 70 minutes. On 13 August, the 94%-lit waxing gibbous Moon sets around 03:15 BST (02:15 UT), just before the onset of serious twilight.
The Perseid maximum is expected to occur between 03:00 BST (02:00 UT) and
16:00 BST (15:00 UT) on 13 August. This year therefore favours the run up to maximum which starts on 23 July when Perseid rates are very low. However, in addition to the Perseids, there are a lot of other less active showers in operation which means that the period of darkness from the third week of -XO\ LQWR WKH UVW ZHHN RI $XJXVW LV DQ LGHDO time to look out for summer meteors.
From late July the Perseid meteor radiant moves from Cassiopeia to Camelopardalis