People of the northern hemisphere were dazzled with the Perseid meteor shower. The incredible and rare event was seen this weekend in those latitudes.

Many took the time to watch this amazing phenomenon and share it on the social media. The Perseid meteor shower had its peak time on Saturday night. Hundreds of fireballs were seen in the night sky.

Image credit: SciNews Youtube Channel
Image credit: SciNews Youtube Channel

What to know about the 2017 Perseid meteor shower

The Perseids are meteor showers associated with the constellation Perseus. They are little pieces of cosmic dust and debris that are left behind by the Comet Swift-Tuttle. Every year, the Earth passes through this trail, and the debris passes through the upper atmosphere at 130,000 miles an hour, approximately. The Swift-Tuttle is a comet with an orbital period of 133 years. Its nucleus is about 16 mile-wide making it one of the biggest objects to pass close to earth repeatedly. Every August, earthlings can see this celestial event, which displays one of the brightest shooting stars. The next time this comet will pass by the Earth will be in 2026.

This year, the peak of the Perseid Meteor shower was on August 12. In general, the Perseid meteor showers have 80 meteors an hour. Some years, the rates are better, showing about 150-to-200 meteors an hour. According to Nasa, this year is going to have acceptable standards. It started on July 17. However, the best moments to see it were the predawn hours of August 12

However, the Perseid meteor shower might be a little difficult to see because of the presence of the moon, which is three-quarters full.

“Rates will be about half what they would be normally, because of the bright moonlight,” said NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke. “Instead of 80 to 100, [there will be] 40 to 50 per hour. And that’s just because the moon’s going to wash out the fainter ones. But the good news is that the Perseids are rich in fireballs; otherwise, the moon would really mess with them,” Cooke added.

People can still watch the Perseid meteor shower until August 20

Regardless of the presence of the moon, the weather had given the opportunity to gaze at the meteor shower this summer, according to Met Office forecaster Marco Petagna. The best place to admire it is in the northern hemisphere and down to the mid-southern latitudes. The Perseid meteor shower is better appreciated under a clear sky away from the major cities.

Though its peak already passed, people will be able to see this event until August 20

“For the next few days you could expect to see some – but decreasing numbers. So tonight will be probably the best chance of seeing them if you missed them last night.” Said Robin Scagell, vice president of the Society For Popular Astronomy.

Scagell also said that this phenomenon is absolutely bright and spectacular. The Perseid meteors come quite swiftly. People might see one or two per minute.