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Meteor Shower Occurring RIGHT NOW: Get a Glimpse of the Show!

  • Astronomy / Megan Hiller / August 8, 2022

  • In this 30 second exposure, a meteor streaks across the sky during the annual Perseid meteor shower Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, in Spruce Knob, West Virginia. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

    Sky Illuminations

    Nothing says summer like a late-night firework show! Mixtures of strontium, calcium, sodium, and many other salts and metal compounds explode into the sky, producing a spectacular array of colors — then a large BOOM! Fireworks light up the sky in celebrations across the world for Lunar New Year, New Year’s Eve, Bonfire Night, Diwali, and recently, the 4th of July. Beyond these special holidays, Mother Nature creates her own beautiful firework displays around 30 times a year through meteor showers!  

    Tell me More about Meteors 

    What are meteors? And what are meteor showers? Meteors are small, typically icy rocks that are expelled from comets. When debris from an old comet or asteroid enters the Earth’s atmosphere, a meteor shower occurs. From Earth, we see meteors streak across the sky and leave a fleeting trail of light as they pass by. 

    From July 17-August 24, the Perseid Meteor Shower will take over the sky as the Earth passes through debris from the massive comet, “Swift-Tuttle”. This annual meteor shower is named after the point of the sky where its meteors originate: the Perseus constellation. The Perseid Meteor shower was first observed about 2000 years ago our ancestors discovered this naturally enchanting light show, and years later, we are still mesmerized by its beauty! 

    It’s written in the stars: see Perseid Meteor Shower for yourself 

    The Perseid Meteor Shower is the most popular annual shower and it’s easy to see why. Viewers usually can look forward to warm summer temperatures and 50-100 meteors passing by per hour. The best part? The shower can be seen with the naked eye! To get the best views of the celestial event, we recommend being far away from light pollution (streetlamps and other city lights). At Chabot Space & Science Center’s beautiful Observation Deck, which is located in our community’s local Redwood forest, our astronomers are hosting a Perseid Meteor Shower Watch Party with hot chocolate to celebrate Mother Nature’s enchanting fireworks. Don’t miss it: this annual shower is considered to be “the best meteor shower of the year” by NASA. Come out on the warm summer evening of August 12th to appreciate the fast and fiery show!