BOSTON (CBS) – One of the best sky shows of the year is coming this weekend. The annual Perseid meteor shower will be peaking this Saturday and Sunday night.
This year’s show is predicted to be an “average” show by Perseid standards, with as many as 50-60 meteors per hour at peak.
Perhaps you might remember an amazing meteor show back in the early 1990s? That was most likely the Perseids. The Perseid are essentially a collection of dust and small rocks left behind by the comet Swift-Tuttle.
The comet has a 133-year orbit, last visiting our part of the solar system back in 1992 (hence the big meteor show back in the 90s). Don’t have time to wait another 107 years for it to come back? There are some occasional bursts of higher meteor activity, the next one being predicted in 2028.
Even though this may be somewhat of a down year, the Perseids still typically are one of the best meteor shows of the year.
So how do you see it?
The storm peaks in the early morning hours (just after midnight) of August 12 and 13 – this Sunday and Monday. But, keep your head up and eye to the sky, you might catch a glimpse of a few shooting stars in the days leading up to or days following the peak.
Where to Look:
Up! Seriously…just find yourself a piece of wide-open sky, without light pollution, lie back and look up. You may have a slightly better chance if you face northeast. The meteors will appear to streak away from and out of the constellations of Perseus and Cassiopeia.
Will the weather cooperate?
That is the million-dollar question of course. As of this writing it appears as though there may be some clouds and perhaps even some rain showers over parts of southeast Massachusetts on Saturday and early Sunday. So my advice would be to head north!
By Monday morning, that boundary should have cleared and it looks like viewing conditions will be good for just about all of New England. Some more good news – with the New Moon coming on August 11, the light pollution will be low. So if you can find a spot away from artificial light and free of clouds, you will be in for a great show!
Follow Terry on Twitter @TerryWBZ