2013 Perseid Meteor Shower
The Perseid Meteor Shower, associated with the
Comet Swift-Tuttle, is among the most spectacular meteor showers
throughout the year. Its maximum occurs around the 12th to 13th August
every year. The number of meteors emerges from Perseids is
relatively stable. Under favourable observing conditions, as many as
100 meteors per hour can be observed during the maximum (ZHR=100)*.
On 12th August this year, the radiant of
Perseid will rise at about 9pm. As the radiant rises, there will
be more observable meteors in late night. Since it is the 6th day
of a lunar month, the Moon will set at around 10pm. Hence, it
will not affect observation of the meteor shower. Observers
should have not much difficulty in watching the shooting stars provided
that they are patient and the weather is fine. Moreover, 13th August
2013 is the Qixi festival, which falls on the seventh evening of the
seventh lunar month. In Chinese mythology, the Cowherd and the Weaver
Maid meet in Heaven on that day. Would you look at the stars Altair and
Vega ,which represent the Cowherd and the Weaver Maid while you are
waiting for the meteors?
Information on the predicted maximum of the Perseids is as follows:
Kong Local Time
|Zenithal Hourly Rate
|August 13 (00:15 - 04:45)
(source: International Meteor
Here are some tips for watching the Perseids:
1. Based on
the data of 2012, the number of meteors on the day before and after the
maximum could vary as much as 50%. Therefore, it would be ideal for
observation to be conducted at the night of maximum. Despite the recent
advances in forecast theory, there may still be high variance in terms
of observation time and quantity of meteors. Therefore, it may not be
possible to guarantee the best time for observation.
2. The radiant of Perseus rises from the horizon in the northeast at
about 9 p.m. on that day. Then It is visible during the whole
3. Although the radiant of the meteor shower is located in the
constellation Perseus, the meteors may not necessarily emerge from the
sky zone near the the radiant. Therefore, an ideal observation should
take place at a site with unobstructed view, especially in the
4. One can definitely view more meteors in the countryside, with
the night sky dimly lit. However, the thoughts of travelling time
to spend, unstable weather, work or school commitments the next day
will deter one from doing so. An open space near your living
place (e.g. podium garden) with unobstructed view and no direct lights
from the surrounding area will also be an ideal place for stargazing.
5. Basically, the meteor can be appreciated by naked eyes and no
telescope is required. You should bring along with you a star-map, a
red light torch, a deckchair and a sleeping bag or mat.
6. You may capture the image of Perseids with a camera. Basic equipment
includes a camera with long time exposure function ('Bulb' shutter).
Camera lens should be set to infinity with maximum aperture. Then point
the camera to Perseus or neighbouring constellations for a 5-minute
exposure time at an ISO value higher than 400 and try your luck. Please
avoid using flash light or white light for illumination as it may
seriously affect other observers.
¡@* ZHR (Zenithal Hourly Rate) is the hypothetical hourly rate of
meteors observable under an extremely dark and wide sky with the
radiant located in the zenith. As it is only an ideal rate, in
practice, observed rates will be definitely lower than the derived ZHR.