BOSTON (CBS) – The most popular meteor shower of the year peaks soon!
The yearly Perseid Meteor Shower always occurs in the middle of summer when the earth passes through the dust of the Comet Swift-Tuttle. Typically you can see about 80 meteors per hour around the peak in August. This year the peak is the night of August 11th & 12th (Friday night) and the night of August 12th and 13th (Saturday night).
Several nights before and a few nights after you can still spot the meteors.
In 2016 it was an “outburst” year and there were about 150 to 200 meteors per hour. There were some rumors that this year was also an outburst year, but that is not the case. In fact, the moon may outshine some of the meteors, cutting down your expectations to see 80 meteors per hour…to about 40. We have a waning gibbous moon, rising mid-evening and washing out the sky through dawn. Luckily there are brighter fireballs that will still put on a beautiful display, so it will definitely be worth a peek!
Best viewing conditions will be away from the city lights and an open sky away from trees and buildings. Look north towards the constellation Perseus. The meteors seem to radiate out from that point. Give your eyes time to adjust to the darkness (about 20 minutes). The meteors may come and go in spurts, so don’t get frustrated if you don’t see any right away. Happy stargazing!