Eyes to the sky!


The "best meteor shower of the year" is coming to a sky near you this week.

The annual Perseid meteor shower occurs as Earth passes through the trail left by the enormous Comet Swift-Tuttle, which swings by Earth every 133 years. According to EarthSky, this year's light show is expected to peak on the mornings of August 11-13 and will be extra vibrant thanks to a non-existent moon.

With up to 100 meteors seen per hour, the Perseids are one of the planet's most plentiful showers. Plus, the warm summer nighttime weather allows for easy and comfortable viewing.

The Perseids, which peak during mid-August, are considered the best meteor shower of the year. "With very fast and bright meteors, Perseids frequently leave long 'wakes' of light and color behind them as they streak through Earth's atmosphere," NASA notes.

Skywatchers can also expect to see fireballs, which are larger explosions of light and color that are brighter and longer than the average meteor.

According to NASA, the Perseid meteor shower is best viewed in the Northern Hemisphere during the pre-dawn hours, "though at times it is possible to view meteors from this shower as early as 10 p.m."

Perseids meteor shower
Credit: Cylonphoto/Getty Images

To maximize your shower viewing experience, Sky & Telescope recommends finding as dark a site as possible. You can use the interactive Light Pollution Map to identify the darkest skies in your area, avoiding the purple, red, and yellow zones.

You can also watch on Youtube, courtesy of NASA, which will be broadcasting the meteor show in seven-hour segments starting at 11 p.m. EST Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Happy skywatching!