Perseid Meteor Shower Will Still Be Active Sunday Night

A bright Perseid meteor shot out near the radiant around 10:40 p.m. CDT Sat. night, Aug. 12. Credit: Bob King

Too bad the clouds moved in! I had clear skies until about 11 p.m. and saw some great Perseid meteors from 10:15 until that time. It’s never easy to capture meteors with a camera, but I had a gut feeling I’d get one on my first exposure — and it happened! The meteor glowed orange and about magnitude 0 during its flight. 15 minutes later, a short, brilliant Perseid flared very close to the radiant and just inside the edge of the camera frame. Phew – got lucky again. I saw eight meteors before the clouds got thick watching from reclining chair in my driveway.

A meteor captured on my first frame shot through the Great Square of Pegasus. It happened Saturday night at 10:20 p.m. Credit: Bob King

I hope you’re looking at the shower right now or plan to whether on your back in the grass, on a beach, floating in a boat or propped up against a mountainside. One thing that really caught my eye during the shower were all the satellites. I spotted at least a dozen rocket stages and other satellites including an unidentified bright “flasher,”  a tumbling piece of satellite debris that produced bright single flashes and fainter double flashes. If you’d like to learn how to see and identify some of the many satellites that crisscross the sky, check out my recent article, Honey, Let’s Start Seeing Other Satellites on Sky & Telescope.

These might resemble meteors, but they’re two unrelated satellites crossing the Great Square in the eastern sky around 10:51 p.m. The bottom one is NOSS 2-3(E), a naval surveillance satellite. I couldn’t ID the other. The Andromeda Galaxy is the fuzzy spot to middle-left. Credit: Bob King

If you were rained out, be sure to try again to see the Perseid shower tonight (Sunday, Aug. 13). It will still be kicking out meteors, just not as many.