How to catch the Perseid meteor shower starting Wednesday night

An observer and the spectacular appearance of our Milky Way galaxy as seen from a very dark site

An observer and the spectacular appearance of our Milky Way galaxy as seen from a very dark site

The annual Perseid meteor shower happens this weekend. The best time to view this event is after midnight and before sunrise both Saturday and Sunday nights.

At the meteor shower's speak on the night of August 12, you can expect to see between 60 to 70 meteors every hour. You can tune in at any time to watch the show, and the last four hours of the stream will remain archived and viewable after the broadcast is complete. That was most likely the Perseids.

The Perseids are dust and debris from the Comet Swift-Tuttle, AccuWeather explains.

So when is the Perseid meteor shower?

"The Perseids appear to radiate from the constellation Perseus, visible in the northern sky soon after sunset this time of year". There are some occasional bursts of higher meteor activity, the next one being predicted in 2028.

'Unlike a lot of celestial events, meteor showers are easy to watch and no special equipment is needed, although a reclining chair and a blanket make viewing much more comfortable'.

So how do you see it?

While you can see the glowing pieces from July 14 through August 24, the peak is only over a few nights, from August 11th to the 13th.

As the particles, ranging in size from a grain of sand to a pea, hit the Earth's atmosphere at 37 miles per second, they burn up and streak across the sky. Mars, Jupiter and Saturn should offer good views in the sky as well, according to Bjerke. Although you can snap a photo with nearly any camera, having a camera that allows you to manually control the exposure will be best.

The meteors can be traced to the Perseus constellation, from which they get their name, which will climb in the northeastern sky as the evening passes.

That is the million-dollar question of course. Better still, viewing conditions this time around are particularly ideal - due to a new moon. But for those who want to experience the meteor shower amped up to 11, getting to a "dark sky park" is an absolute must.

While you'll get the best meteor rates in a rural area, far from light pollution, you still might be able to see some meteors from a city or suburb.

Your eyes can take up to 30 minutes to adjust to the dark, NASA said.

The Perseids are a result of the Earth's orbit, when it travels through the cloud of debris caused by the comet Swift-Tuttle.

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