PERSEID METEORS on August 12UPDATE AUGUST 12 -
You may have heard it first here from ASO that the Perseids for 2016 were NOT going to produce "160-200 per hour" as predicted by NASA's Bill Cooke due to Jupiter's gravitational pull on the particles in the stream of Comet Swift-Tuttle.
Based on numerous reports worldwide that I have been receiving since Aug. 10 (UT) as well as direct (non-)observations from the night of August 12 from 05:00 UT through 10:30 UT under perfect 6/6 skies here at Arkansas Sky Observatories, I would say that the diminishing shower comes to two conclusions:
1) it either peaked early (many reports of 20 per hour on the 10th)
2) the meteor streams of particles from the comet are rapidly dwindling to very few, as I predicted in 1980.
Here at ASO fewer than 8 per hour were seen under ideal skies; none were seen in several other locations and less than 15 per hour is the top number thus reported.
Hopefully other reports will continue to come in today.
UPDATE AUG. 9 - Contrary to what we have been hearing this week on news channels and the web, the Perseids will NOT be producing "hundreds of meteors" throughout the night....this is just one more example of very poor journalism......peak numbers of perhaps 30-40 per hour after moonset is what we should expect to see.
WATCH FOR PERSEIDS! This year's reliable Perseid Meteor shower will peak on Aug. 12, two days after the first quarter moon. This means the moon will be in the sky in the evening, but setting by the time the shower radiant is highest. Watch the week before and after for these bright fireballs.
For complete information about observing the Perseids, see the ASO Guides at: