The Perseids meteor shower will be peaking August 11-12, and we have the scoop on how you can take in the annual display of shooting stars.
Comet Swift-Tuttle is the source of the meteor shower, a massive ball of ice, rock and other material orbiting the sun in a path that closely intersects Earth’s orbit.
Debris from the comet burns up in Earth’s atmosphere as it comes close to our planet, producing stunning trails of light visible in the night sky.
The Perseids are so named because they are most easily visible in the constellation Perseus in the Northern Hemisphere.
The meteor shower can be seen by looking directly Northeast towards the constellation, shortly after midnight on August 11.
A quarter moon should make for some fairly good views of the Perseids. However, as the moon starts to rise around 12:20 a.m. on August 12 it will be close in the night sky to the meteor shower, and the light will reduce the number of visible shooting stars.
The meteor shower is best viewed with the naked eye. Telescopes and binoculars will limit your field of view and your ability to see more streaks of light.
Find a good, dark place away from city lights, and give your eyes time to adjust to the dark. Arriving an hour before midnight on August 11 should be plenty of time to adjust to the night sky.
The seven day forecast is predicting a chance of rain on August 11, but we may get lucky with a clear dark sky.