UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY-TV) – Each August, the night sky is filled with a spectacular show of meteors known as the Perseid meteor shower. It occurs when the Earth intersects the dust cloud left from comet Swift-Tuttle and the name comes from the constellation Perseus, where the meteors radiate (or shoot out) from.
To prepare, it’s best to find a spot away from city lights since light pollution can greatly affect the visibility of the meteor shower. The meteor shower will reach its peak here in Utica on the night of August 12, 2021. During this time, it is possible to see over 40 meteors per hour shooting across the sky above the northeastern horizon. It’s timing coincides with the new moon which is just a few days earlier. This will make it even easier to view the meteor shower since the moon won’t be as bright.
The American Meteor Society advises that if you are going to watch the meteor shower, aim your center of view about half-way up in the sky. Don’t look straight up as more activity is visible at lower elevations. They also suggest a watching period of at least an hour since meteor displays are notoriously variable. It’s possible to watch for 10 minutes straight and see no activity at all with just a few minutes later having several meteors pop up simultaneously.
Even if you can’t watch the meteor shower, don’t worry! It’ll still be visible for a few nights before and after August 12. The only difference is that there will be fewer meteors per hour on the nights before and after August 12.