The annual Perseid Meteor Shower is expected to be especially good this year, with up to 200 meteors per hour expected on the peak night of August 12. That’s double the normal rate, making this an “outburst” year, the first since 2009.
The meteors will appear to originate from the constellation Perseus, which appears on the horizon at about 10 p.m., but the most meteors will be visible after midnight. According to Space.com:
Earth will pass through the path of Comet Swift-Tuttle from July 17 to Aug. 24, with the shower‘s peak — when Earth passes through the densest, dustiest area — occurring on Aug. 12. That means you’ll see the most meteors in the shortest amount of time near that peak, but you can still catch some action from the famed meteor shower before or after that point.”
On the night of August 11, the moon’s light will interfere with seeing the Perseids, but it will set at about 1 a.m. on August 12 so best viewing will be after moonset. You can see the shower best in the Northern Hemisphere and down to the mid-southern latitudes, and all you need to catch the show is darkness, somewhere comfortable to sit, and a bit of patience. (It will take about 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the darkness.)
If it’s after midnight and on a relatively cloudless night, do not look straight up in the sky but rather center your field of view “at approximately one-half the way up in the sky, high enough to avoid anything that may block your view,” according to an American Meteor Society blogger.
Click to space.com for more info. And if you can, try to get out on your boat this weekend (best viewing will be Thursday or Friday night), away from city lights, because this shower promises to be pretty spectacular.
If you can’t make it out, the shower will be live streamed through NASA starting at 10 p.m. on August 11 and again at 10 p.m. on August 12.