I observed the Perseids Meteor shower between 3:15am EDT and 4:00am on the morning of Monday August 12th, 2013. I saw a couple dozen perseids and a few sporadics in that time – i didn’t keep track as i was just casually observing. There was also one quite bright meteor of maybe magnitude -3.
The forecasted best time to view the Perseids Meteor shower this year was either Aug 12th or 13th in the early morning hours. However, the Perseids seem to have a very broad peak so viewing the skies a few days before of after the predicted peak still resulted in a significant number of meteors observed.
For my location, it was clear on Friday August 9th but i didn’t make it out to observe. Colleagues reported a significant rates of about 40 an hour that night. Saturday night was cloudy but Sunday night started out cloudy and cleared in the early hours of Monday August 12th. As it happens, i woke up at 3am and was pleasantly surprised to a very clear and transparent sky. So i decided to go outside and see some perseids.
I setup my lawn chair in the yard and observed the shower for about 45min – from 3:15am edt to about 4am. The skies were mag 4.8 at the zenith (Upsilon1 Cass). I could see about to 20deg in the south west. North was trees and north-east has a large city lighting up the sky. The milky way stretched from east to west across the zenith. The Andromeda galaxy was easily visible without a telescope.
Immediately i say about a half dozen perseids in the couple minutes – about 2 per min. One was a probably mag -3 (just guessing) which lit up a path of almost 60deg of the sky in the south west and was visible for 3-4 sec after it past – quite bright. Several others were also bright but many were short and dim. The rates were sporadic. Sometimes several min between observations.
In all i probably saw 30 meteors in the 45min i observed.