Published: Mon, August 13, 2018
Research | By Sheri Schwartz

Watch Perseid Meteor Shower 2018 Online

Watch Perseid Meteor Shower 2018 Online

Downloading a star-gazing mobile app can also add to the experience of meteor showers.

The meteors can be traced to the Perseus constellation, from which they get their name, which will climb in the northeastern sky as the evening passes.

This year, the Perseid meteor shower will be particularly spectacular because the moon will be a thin crescent and will set early leaving a dark canvas for the meteors. Wherever you are in India, look up at the sky for some celestial fireworks.

The Perseids were called the "Tears of St. Lawrence" in medieval Europe because they occur around the anniversary of the death of Laurentius, a Christian deacon who was martyred by Valerian, a Roman emperor, in the year 258 A.D.

And it's expected to be the last time that this specific meteor will be seen until 2026.

Chinese astronomers are credited with the being the first to record an observation of the meteor shower back in 36 A.D.

This year's dramatic meteor shower was even more special thanks to the Moon.

Temperatures can reach as high as 10,000F (5,537F) as meteors - most of which are no bigger than a grain of sand - travel across the sky at speeds of 36 miles a second.

Sparkling meteors or shooting stars are known to excite and interest small kids and school students.

Between 1am and 2am, when the sky is darkest, will be the best time to spot the cosmic event.

If you want to be a serious citizen scientist, you can report your meteor counts and statistics to the International Meteor Organization (based in Belgium), which will compile the observational records every year.

To enjoy meteor phenomena, you do not need any equipment at all.

The author, Dr Aswin Sekhar, is an Indian astrophysicist working for University of Oslo, Norway.

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