We’re in the midst of one of the best meteor showers of the year, but not everyone can stay up all night to watch the Perseids cascade across the night sky. Today, August 12th, is their peak, and if you absolutely don’t want to miss out on the show — but also don’t want to lose any sleep over it — you can enjoy them from the comfort of, well, just about anywhere thanks to The Virtual Telescope Project.
As is often the case with exciting skywatching events, the Virtual Telescope Project is providing a live stream of the Perseid meteor shower that you can watch via YouTube, and it’s sure to offer some lovely eye candy.
The live stream is scheduled to begin at exactly 6:00 p.m. EST on Monday evening, and you can watch it as it happens from the embedded YouTube window below:
The Perseids get their name from the constellation Perseus, which dominates the sky in the area where the meteors appear to us here on Earth. They appear once a year, typically from mid-July through late August, but they have a well-defined peak on or around August 12th.
The meteor shower is actually the result of debris shed by the comet Swift-Tuttle. When the shower is at its peak, meteors can be observed at a rate of over 50 per hour, giving skywatchers plenty of opportunities to spot the bright streaks.
The live stream should be well worth your time, and the Virtual Telescope folks always do a great job with their stream quality. However, if you miss the stream or want to watch additional live meteor shower coverage later on, NASA will also provide a live camera feed of the Perseids from the United States starting at 9:00 p.m. EST. That live stream will be available via the Meteor Watch page on Facebook.