Everyone loves a good shooting star- and tonight is one of the best times to see one! The Perseids are typically one of the more active annual meteor showers, but unfortunately this year’s event will be more subdued. Peak activity, when the Earth sweeps through the most debris left over by a comet, will occur early next week. I’d recommend heading out this weekend instead because it is the weekend (obviously) but more importantly- the rising full moon will be less of an issue compared to early next week. Moonlight will wash out much of the dimmer meteors, but you still have a chance to see the brighter ones with an optimistic rate of 10-15 an hour (essentially one every 10 minutes or less).
Expect passing clouds and quite warm weather to stay outside to see these meteors burn up in our upper atmosphere.
To make sure you make the most of what you can see- follow these tips:
Stay Up Late or Wake Up Early
These meteors mostly occur in the predawn hours after midnight and before sunrise. Some will certainly streak across the sky before this but you’ll have the best chance to see them if you can head out as late (after 10 PM) or as early (before 6 AM) as you can.
Go Dark and Get Comfy
Find a place far away from any light pollution and give yourself at least half an hour away from your phone or tv to adjust to the darkness. Load up on the bug spray and lean back with the widest view of the night sky.
Meteors will streak across any point, but originate from the northeast
If you trace back all of the meteors with this event, they’ll seem to originate from the constellation Perseus in the northeast sky. This is where the shower gets its name from. Don’t limit yourself with the northeastern sky as meteors can and will streak at other points in the sky.
Storm Team 2 Meteorologist David Dickson