How To Watch The Perseid Meteor Shower Of August 2021 (And Manifest Your Wishes On A Shooting Star)

Photo: eldar nurkovic / shutterstock.com
woman watching the Perseid meteor shower
Zodiac

Shooting stars are coming — in the form of the Perseid meteor shower, a naturally-occurring light show that arrives every summer at some point between July 17-August 24.

This year's extraterrestrial fireworks display will peak between the evenings of Wednesday through Friday of this week — August 11, 12 and 13.

What is the Perseid meteor shower?

Also known as "the Perseids," the Perseid meteor shower is annual event loved by many for its typically large number of shooting stars. This particular meteor shower is caused by the Earth passing through debris thrown off by the 109P/Swift-Tuttle Comet.

According to Stardate.org:

"Most meteor showers are spawned by comets. As a comet orbits the Sun it sheds an icy, dusty debris stream along its orbit. If Earth travels through this stream, we will see a meteor shower. Although the meteors can appear anywhere in the sky, if you trace their paths, the meteors in each shower appear to "rain" into the sky from the same region.

Meteor showers are named for the constellation that coincides with this region in the sky, a spot known as the radiant. For instance, the radiant for the Leonid meteor shower is in the constellation Leo. The Perseid meteor shower is so named because meteors appear to fall from a point in the constellation Perseus."

The Perseids are noted by many as their favorite, most popular meteor shower of the year.

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How the Moon Affects the Perseid Meteor Shower

The visibility of the Perseids varies each year depending on the amount of moonlight coinciding with their peak, which is dependent of the Moon's phase at the time the Perseids make their flight.

In 2021, the Moon will be Waxing Crescent as the Perseids peak on August 11-13.

While this year, like most, may not be as spectacular as 2016, an "outburst year" with a rate of 150-200 meteors an hour — double the number of meteors seen in a typical Perseid shower — careful sky watchers can expect to see up to 60 meteors per hour during this year's peak.

So at least there's that...

Check out this stunning time-lapse video of the 2016 Perseids captured over Cleveland National Forest in Mount Laguna, California, especially the "epic fireball" at 00:41.

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When and Where to Watch the August 2021 Perseids

The Perseid meteor shower can best be see by those located in the Northern Hemisphere and down to the mid-southern latitudes.

If you're looking for the best time and place to settle down on a picnic blanket with some hot chocolate to watch, here are some tips to help you out.

1. The best time to watch for the Perseids to fly by is from midnight until dawn.

However, if you want to catch an earthgrazer — "meteors that skim the top of Earth's atmosphere like a stone skipping across the surface of a pond" — you'll also want to watch the sky in the northern horizon in the earlier evening hours after sunset.

2. Find a dark, comfortable place you can sit patiently with a broad view of the night sky.

Make sure any lights are off and you are as far from city lights as possible. No special equipment is necessary.

3. Allow your eyes at least 20-30 minutes to adjust to the dark.

The longer you wait, the more shooting stars you're likely to see. Try to give yourself at least an hour.

As you gaze, look up and to the north, or if you are somewhere in the more southern part of the world, look up and then northeast.

4. Relax and enjoy the show!

And if you aren't able to see the meteor shower from where you are, you can watch along on this live stream:

What the Perseid Meteor Shower Means in Astrology

This Perseids are named for the constellation of Perseus, the figure from Greek mythology who killed Medusa and used her severed head to save Andromeda from a sea monster.

Elocin Rose explains: "Astrologically, this event is an annual reminder to confront conflicts head-on in our personal life — as well as within the larger contexts of our families, friends, communities and, of course, the world. Avoidance or refusing to acknowledge deep-rooted societal issues can be just as damaging as actually being the oppressor. Stand up for what you believe is right. It’s OK to start small and focus on what’s in your locus of control. But let that be just it — a starting point. Go bigger."

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How to Make a Wish on a Shooting Star and Manifest During the Perseids

Wishing on a shooting star is always a special opportunity, and the Perseids gifts us with multiple opportunities for manifestation.

1. Prepare by deciding what you want to manifest.

On the day you plan to go star-gazing by taking some time to sit somewhere quiet and think about the change you want to manifest in your life.

2. Write or say your desired wish/manifestation as though it is already your reality.

Once you've decided what you will manifest, speak (out loud or silently to yourself) or write down your manifestation in the form of an affirmation with gratitude. Be sure to frame your desired goal as though it is already your reality, and sit with that thought until you feel emotions and sensations as though it has come to pass.

For example, if your desire is to meet your soulmate, you might say or write: "I am so happy and grateful now that I have finally found my soulmate and they have found me."

3. When you see a shooting star pass by, make your wish and state your affirmation.

Once you see a shooter star, close your eyes and say (again, to yourself or out loud), your previously chosen affirmation.

If you want, you can start with this old favorite first: “Starlight, star bright, first star I see tonight: I wish I may, I wish I might, have this wish I wish tonight.”

4. Believe your manifestation to be true, express gratitude to the universe ... and let it go.

Allow your feelings of thankfulness to sink in as you enjoy the rest of the celestial light show.

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Astrologer Larry Schwinner states: "This cosmic event is likely to affect you in unseen, yet mystical ways bringing unexpected events into your life. Even if your life has been embroiled in confusion, chaos or turmoil, the light from The Perseids is said to illuminate your path, leading you to a new direction when you need it most. As you look up at the sky, ask yourself: are there any changes you would like to see happen that would make your life happier?

"This cosmic event may be just the catalyst for altering your life and moving you to take constructive action and make your goals a reality. There are a number of positive changes that often occur after this amazing meteor shower. It’s time when you’re likely to be inspired to find an innovative solution to a troubling problem.

The possibilities for a magical transformation in some area of your life are endless..."

Upcoming Meteor Showers in 2021

Luckily, the Perseids won't be your last opportunity to do some stargazing this year.

We still have these meteor showers coming up:

The Draconids: During evening and nightfall on October 8.

The Orionids: Before dawn on October 21.

The South Taurids: From late night on November 4 through dawn on November 5.

The North Taurids: From late night on November 11 through dawn on November 12.

The Leonids: Before dawn on November 17.

The Geminids: From mid-evening through dawn on December 13-14.

The Ursids: Before dawn on December 22.

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Deputy Editor Arianna Jeret, MA/MSW, has been featured in Cosmopolitan, The Huffington Post, Yahoo Style, MSN, Fox News, Bustle, Parents and more. Find her on Twitter and Instagram for more.