41ºF

Best meteor shower of the year is on the horizon -- here's what to know

Perseids to flash across sky this weekend, beginning of next week

A Perseid meteor streaks across the sky above desert pine trees. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

We have some good news: The best meteor shower of the year is upon us.

The Perseids, known for being bright and fast, are streaking across the sky as we speak, but will peak starting this weekend.

The meteor shower usually has rates of more than 60 meteors per hour to the naked eye. This year, unfortunately, there’s a full moon right at the shower peak, which means that rate of 60 decreases to about 15-20. Those numbers are still nothing to scoff at, but it sure makes us feel like we need to take advantage of it a little more wisely.

When is the best time to watch?

You can make plans to stay up late or wake up early Sunday, Monday and/or Tuesday, but NASA experts say the best time to see the shower is around 2 a.m. and dawn.

On Sunday night, the moon will set about 3 a.m., allowing for about an hour of dark sky to catch the fireballs.

The real peak of the shower comes Monday night into Tuesday morning, but NASA says there will only be a limited time of dark sky between moonset and twilight.

We get that not everyone is awake in the middle of the night, so don’t fret! There will still be meteors streaking across the sky when night falls, but you may not see as many.

What's the best way to watch?

If possible, grab a spot away from bright lights, something comfy to lie on and survey the sky; they’ll be everywhere.

If you’ve got the time, try to give yourself about 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark (ahem — that means putting the phone down, as the screen will affect your vision).

NASA said telescopes and binoculars are not recommended.

Catch a live broadcast of the meteor shower on the NASA Meteor Watch Facebook page. The stream will begin around 8 p.m. ET Sunday and continue through the early hours of Tuesday.


[READ NEXT: This breathtaking Ireland island wants to grow its population with folks from USLargest species of fish on Earth spotted off Texas coast9 questions you’ve been too embarrassed to ask about CBD, answered]


About the Author:

Dawn Jorgenson

Dawn is a Digital Content Editor who has been with Graham Media Group since April 2013. She graduated from Texas State University with a degree in electronic media and a minor in criminal justice.