Perseid Meteor Shower in 2015

The 2015 Perseid meteor shower will peak around August 11. A new moon on August 14, 2015 will create perfect conditions for watching the meteor shower.

Illustration image

The Perseids seem to come from the direction of the Perseus, a constellation in the north-eastern part of the skyBased on NASA illustration

When Can I See the Perseids?

The Perseid meteor shower, one of the brighter meteor showers of the year, occur every year between July 17 and August 24. The shower tends to peak around August 9-13.

The best time to view the Perseids, or most other meteor showers is when the sky is the darkest. Most astronomers suggest that depending on the Moon’s phase, the best time to view meteor showers is right before dawn.

Sunrise and Sunset in my City

Comet Swift-Tuttle

Made of tiny space debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle, the Perseids are named after the constellation Perseus. This is because the direction, or radiant, from which the shower seems to come in the sky lies in the same direction as the constellation Perseus, which can be found in the north-eastern part of the sky.

While the skies light up several time a year by other meteor showers , the Perseids are widely sought after by astronomers and stargazers. This is because at its peak, one can see 60 to a 100 meteors in an hour from a dark place.

Where Can I See the Perseids?

The Perseids can be seen in the Northern Hemisphere. Look between the radiant, which will be in the north-east part of the sky and the zenith (the point in sky directly above you).

While you can easily see a shooting star with the naked eye just looking straight up, the table below shows the exact direction of the Perseids from your location.

Location in the sky tonight

Slight chance to see Perseids, table below is updated daily and shows position for coming night.

Perseids meteor shower for Nantes (Night between 5 aoû and 6 aoû)
TimeAzimuth/DirectionAltitude
mer 23 h 00 22°North-northeast 20,7° 
jeu 00 h 00 29°North-northeast 25,1° 
jeu 01 h 00 36°Northeast 30,6° 
jeu 02 h 00 41°Northeast 37,0° 
jeu 03 h 00 46°Northeast 44,1° 
jeu 04 h 00 50°Northeast 51,7° 
jeu 05 h 00 51°Northeast 59,6° 
jeu 06 h 00 49°Northeast 67,5° 

Direction to see the Perseids in the sky:

  • Azimuth is the direction, based on true north, a compass might show a slightly different value.
  • Altitude is height in degrees over horizon.

Note that this is not the prime period to watch the Perseids, so there may be few or no meteors visible this night.
Set your location

How to Watch Meteor Showers

  • Check the weather: Meteors, or shooting stars, are easy to spot, all you need is clear skies and a pair of eyes. 
  • Get out of town: Find a place as far away as possible from artificial lights 
  • Prepare to wait: Bring something to sit or lie down on. Star gazing is a waiting game, so get comfortable. 

Topics: AstronomyMeteorsComets