Perseids 2022 Livestream: How and When To Watch Meteor Shower Live Online

The Perseid meteor shower is among the most spectacular celestial events of the year. But if you are not able to catch a glimpse of the show in real life, here's how you can observe the event online.

The Perseids are active this year from July 14 to September 1, according to the American Meteor Society (AMS), and will peak on the night of August 12-13.

Meteor showers occur when the Earth passes through streams of cosmic debris left behind by comets and, in some rare cases, asteroids. During showers, numerous meteors streak across the sky, appearing to originate from a single point—known as the radiant.

Meteors—colloquially referred to as shooting stars—are the streaks of light we see in the sky when tiny fragments of space debris burn up in the Earth's atmosphere at high speed.

The Perseids consistently provides a high rate of meteors, while the fact they occur in August usually means there are relatively good viewing conditions for people observing the event from the Northern Hemisphere.

Couple watching a meteor shower
Stock image: Illustration of two people observing a meteor shower. The Perseid meteor shower will peak on the night of August 11-12, 2022. iStock

"The Perseids are famous for a very good reason: they are spectacular. In the best cases, you can see dozens of them per hour easily with the naked eye—if you are under dark skies," astronomer Gianluca Masi, with the Virtual Telescope Project (VTP), told Newsweek.

"In addition, they happen during some of the hottest summer nights in the Northern Hemisphere, so it is very pleasant to stay up, outdoors, looking at the stars."

For those who would prefer to watch the show from the comfort of their own home, however, the VTP will be providing a free live stream of the event.

When to watch Perseids 2022

To capture the event, Masi will be using at least two full-frame digital cameras equipped with 24-millimeter and 35-millimeter lenses that have a very high luminosity. These are capable of recording event the faintest meteor, according to Masi.

The live stream is scheduled to begin at 01:00 a.m. Universal Coordinated Time on August 10, or 9 p.m. Eastern Time on August 9.

The reason the stream is being broadcast on this date is that the moon will be virtually full on the peak night, which will make it more difficult to see the meteor shower.

"Every year, we have to consider where the moon will be in the sky around the time of the peak," Masi said. "Our satellite, with its light, can literally ruin the show. Last year, for example, was superb because the moon was basically new, so it was not visible: we had zero contamination by moonlight.

"Unfortunately, this year we will have a full supermoon just as the Perseids peak. The full moon is visible for the whole night, seriously affecting the enjoyment of the meteor shower. Considering that Perseids are already generously active days before the maximum, we decided to run the live feed a couple of days earlier."

meteor shower stock
Stock image representing a meteor shower. The Perseids is generally considered to be one of the best meteor showers of the year. Getty Images

On this night, the moon will set about 60 minutes before dawn, leaving a very dark sky at the end of the night, when the radiant of the meteor shower will be at its highest in the sky. These are the "most desirable" conditions to observe the event, according to Masi.

The radiant of the Perseids is located in the constellation Perseus, which is named after a hero in ancient Greek mythology who was the son of Zeus and the mortal Danaë.

The Perseids are not the only meteor shower that is active at this time of year. The Southern Delta Aquariids and Alpha Capricornids are also both currently active, although they have already peaked, according to the AMS.