Perseid meteor shower to illuminate sky starting Thursday, Aug. 12

August 12, 2021 - 11:44 AM
A meteor dashes above Tvrtkovac mountain during the Perseid meteor shower seen from Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, August 8, 2021. (Reuters/Dado Ruvic)

Skygazers could witness around 50 or more shooting stars light up the sky when the Perseid meteor shower peaks this week.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the astronomical phenomenon will be visible depending on weather conditions.

“If the sky permits, the famous Perseids meteor shower will be observed with its peak in the late evening and early morning hours on Aug. 12 to 13,” it said.

Unfortunately, PAGASA noted that the waxing gibbous moon will interfere with the visibility of fainter meteors.

August is one of the most popular times of the year to observe meteor showers, the weather bureau said.

Meteors are easiest to observe without moonlight, light pollution, and during clear skies.

The Perseids meteor shower radiates out from the constellation Perseus, which is located on the eastern horizon in August.

Discovered in 1862 by Lewis Swift and Horace Tuttle, the shower begins from Earth entering the orbit of debris from the Comet Swift-Tuttle, which takes 133 years to orbit the sun.

According to NASA, its “bright, long streaks of light and dazzling ‘fireballs,’ which are large bursts that last longer than typical meteors.”

Some Catholics also refer to it as “tears of St. Lawrence” in honor of a martyred saint of the same name. His feast day of Aug. 10 coincides with the Perseids buildup.