Nationwide Perseid Watch 2023 on the night of Saturday August 12th into Sunday August 13th. The nights of 11th and 14th can also put on a good show.
The Perseids will appear to originate from a point in the north-east.
Be sure to join Astronomy Ireland to get the future magazines carrying all the photos and reports of the supermoon/perseids and lots more besides e.g. October’s Eclipse, the even bigger Geminid meteor show in December and 3 supermoons in 2023, and more!
Astronomy is one of the few areas where amateurs can make a real contribution to science. You might think that you need to be an ‘expert’ to contribute data which will have real scientific value. This could not be further from the truth.
This year the bright Moon will reduce the amount seen in rural locations – but will not affect people in cities.
Click image above to enlarge
The Perseids have been observed for around 2000 years, and are the result of Earth passing through a cloud of dust left behind Comet Swift-Tuttle. As Earth moves through this cloud, the particles fall into our atmosphere and burn up, creating spectacular streaks of light in the sky, known as meteors or shooting stars. This shower is named after the constellation Perseus, from which the meteors appear to come from in the sky. If you trace back the path of a Perseid, you will find that it appears to come from a point in the north east, maybe halfway between the horizon and the zenith (the point straight above your head).
To take part in the Nationwide Perseid Watch, simply go outside and look up! We want you to count meteors every night that you can for one week before the peak and one week after – from August 8th to 20th – and the best rates should be night of Saturaday August 12 Sunday 13. Count how many meteors you see every 15 minutes (if possible, start on the hour or quarter past the hour), and note it down. Then email us your report with your name, location, and the night you observed. For example, a normal report would be as follows: Name: Joe Bloggs
Location: Kinsale, Co. Cork
Night: Saturday night and Sunday morning
11:30 – 11:45: 12 meteors
11:45 – 00:00: 8 meteors
00:00 – 00:15: 17 meteors
Email your meteor report to email@example.com
Remember, the best night to watch is the night of August 12th/13th, but you can observe on any night around this date. You also do not need a telescope or any special equipment to view the Perseids.