Perseid Meteor Shower: History, Timings and Pop Culture Mentions

Perseid Meteor Shower, 2015

Sky gazers, we’ve got a treat for you! What? Yes! We will be able to see the Perseid Meteor Shower during July 17 to August 24 with its peak on August 12. So, get ready to find a suitable place and watch this majestic view of celestial bodies!

Perseid Meteor Shower: History

The name Perseid comes from the constellation Perseus where these meteors can be seen. Some people say that the name has come from the word Persedai, the son of Perseus in Greek Mythology. Perseus was the son of Zeus and Danaë, the daughter of Acrisius, King of Argos.

This meteor shower is the result of debris created by the comet Swift-Tuttle. These are primarily visible in the Northern Hemisphere due to the radiance of the constellation Perseus. This meteor shower was first discovered way back in AD 36!

Its general velocity is around 58km/s, with a shower rate of around 60 meteors per hour. However, scientists have revealed that this shower rate can drop down to 16-20 meteors per hour as well.

So when should you look into the open theatre?

In India, the best view would available on between 11-12 August. The optimum time would be around 2 AM to dawn. However, the view depends on the moon’s brightness as well as the overcast sky. Since most of India is facing the onsets of monsoon, clear sky with a perfect view might be a rarity.

However, if you live away from the city pollution, it might just be your lucky day! If the sky remains clear, you won’t even need any equipment to watch it. Just sit back and enjoy the view. However, what can you do if it’s not visible from your sky? Well, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered for that as well!

Perseid Meteor Shower, 2015
Perseid Meteor Shower, 2015

Live forecast of the Shower

A live broadcast of the meteor shower from a camera at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Centre in Huntsville , Alabama , will be available on the NASA Meteor Watch Facebook starting around 8 PM CDT on Aug 11, continuing until sunrise on Aug 12.  Meteor videos recorded by  NASA All Sky Fireball Network will also be made available each morning.

Pop Culture Mentions

In 1972, a song Rocky Mountain High by John Denver refers to his experience watching the Perseid meteor shower with the lines “I’ve seen it raining fire in the sky”

In 2006, the novel Against the Day by Thomas Pynchon also referred to the shower being watched by three characters of the novel after playing a game of tarot.

In 2014 song RPG by Japanese band Sekai no Owari, the narrator mentions watching the Perseid meteor shower as “Precious to them fell apart”

So, take some time out and enjoy this phenomenon. Trust me, it’ll be worthwhile. Below, we’ve attached a Youtube link for you where you can enjoy this sight right from your home!

For more such articles, check out Science & Technology

Yuvraj Agarwal

2 thoughts on “Perseid Meteor Shower: History, Timings and Pop Culture Mentions”

  1. Swasti Mitra Mustafi

    This article was really useful! I saw it last night and it was majestic ❤️
    Thank you ever so much for informing me about it.

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