Taipei Astronomical Museum to livestream Perseids meteor shower

Shower can exceed 100 meteors per hour at peak viewing time

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The Perseids meteor shower will reach its peak on the night of Aug. 13. (photo: Wikimedia Commons)

The Perseids meteor shower will reach its peak on the night of Aug. 13. (photo: Wikimedia Commons)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) –The annual Perseids meteor shower will hit its crescendo Tuesday (Aug. 13) night, and armchair astronomers can tune in to a livestream on the Taipei Astronomical Museum's YouTube channel.

According to the museum, the best time to observe the Perseids, one of the three biggest annual meteor showers, is from 2 a.m. until just before dawn on Wednesday (Aug. 14). The museum will set up a high-resolution night vision camera at Fushoushan Farm in order to share the spectacle with the public via livestream.

Taipei City's Department of Transportation announced that there will be traffic control at Yanmingshan from Tuesday evening to Thursday to prevent a traffic jam, and vehicles might be blocked from entering the star-gazing area, including Yangde Boulevard (仰德大道) and Qingtiangang (擎天崗), depending on weather and traffic conditions. There will also be extra bus services in the Yangmingshan area at night.

At their peak, the Perseids can reach a rate of 110 meteors per hour and can be seen with the naked eye when one looks to the northeast. The meteor shower occurs when Earth passes through the debris trail of Swift-Tuttle, a comet that orbits the sun once every 133 years.

Meteors of the shower are fast, with an average speed of 60 kilometers per second, and bright. Even outside of the optimum observation time, viewers can still enjoy 50 to 75 meteors per hour in places with little light pollution, according to the museum's website.