Don't Miss the Year's Best Meteor Shower

The annual Perseid meteor shower is getting ready to peak.

This is one of the most vivid meteor showers, and it happens every year. It's a personal favorite of mine, and I have been watching this one since I was a kid.

Every August, during the warm summer nights, the Perseids meteor shower peaks giving us the chance to view some of the brightest meteors. It's named Perseids because the meteors appear to radiate out of the constellation Perseus.

A little background: The Perseid meteor shower happens when the Earth passes through a stream of  debris from the Comet Swift-Tuttle.

This is an incredibly dependable meteor shower. This meteor shower also tends to spawn several fireballs- which are extremely bright meteors. I saw several last year when I was watching this same meteor shower.

This year: According to, the meteor shower is expected to peak on the night of August 12th.

NASA reports that several meteors from the Perseids have already been spotted, as early as July 30th, and that's well before the expected peak. So that's a good indication that this year will not disappoint. NASA also says you could see as many as 100 meteors an hour.

A few tips, don't expect to peak your head outside and see streaks of light across the sky. Take the time, sit on your porch in the dark or take a blanket out and let your eyes adjust to the darkness. It may be 15 minutes before you see the first meteor. Go to an area that's dark or where there are no lights around.

I simply laid in my backyard last year and faced away from the street lights, and I saw plenty of meteors and a few bright fireballs streaking across the sky in only about an hour. Temperatures will also be mild so it's going to be comfortable to be outside late at night.

Best viewing? Go out  late on Sunday night and Monday night, August 11th and 12th.

Look straight up.

Last year I was looking up and a little to the east and saw plenty.

NASA says the best viewing times are between 10:30pm and 4:30 am.

I think the better viewing wouldn't be until at least 11pm or midnight because the rate of meteors will be increasing by then.

If you can't be out late Sunday and Monday nights, try Friday and Saturday nights late. There is still plenty of viewing opportunities a few days before and after the peak.

NASA also says to take the chance to see this year's meteor shower. Next year may not be as promising because of more moonlight, and that could really hinder the viewing of the Perseids.

Follow Meteorologist Aubrey Urbanowicz WHSV on Facebook and Twitter.

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