One of the best regarded meteor showers of the year peaks this weekend – The Perseid Meteor Shower.
This year forecasters say we could see anywhere from 60-70 meteors per hour but during outburst years (like 2016) the rate can be between 150-200 meteor per hour.
Both nights this weekend should produce a spectacle of streaks across the night sky. However, some forecasters say that Sunday night into Monday will be a bit better.
This year will also be great for viewing because the moon’s current phase is near new moon and won’t flood the night sky with moonlight.
Also, the moon will set before the show gets going after midnight.
Saturn and Mars will also be in view until about 2 AM and 4AM, respectively.
Where to look…
Meteor showers are named after the constellation of stars the meteor radiate from.
Orionids from Constellation Orion
Leonids from Constellation Leo
Perseids from Constellation Perseus
You get the idea.
Persues will be in the north, northeastern sky Saturday and Sunday nights. This is the direction you’ll want to look.
Just lean back and observe as much sky overhead as possible.
How to see the Perseids…
You’ll need to get away from city lights and move to an urban, low-lit area.
The key to seeing a meteor is to take in as much sky as possible. So, anywhere with an obstructed view (tree line, buildings, hills) will lower your chances. On top of a hill is great, though!
You’ll need to let your eyes adjust to the darkness. Get outside and let your eyes adjust for about 15-30 minutes.
Grab something soft to sit on, some snacks, drinks and bug spray and get outside and relax.
Our weather should cooperate all weekend long, especially during the evenings. It might not be totally clear skies but there shouldn’t be a lot of cloud cover out.