BOSTON (CBS) — Skywatcher alert! One of the best meteor showers of the year is happening Tuesday night! The annual Perseid Meteor shower is peaking tonight and this is one show that rarely disappoints.
The Perseids occur each year when Earth passes through the debris left by Comet Swift-Tuttle.
In an average year, under good weather conditions, viewers can catch as many as 50-100 of these “shooting stars” per hour. Once in a while, we get real lucky and there have been reports of up to 200 per hour!
In order to give yourself the best shot at a good show, you need to find an area with the least amount of artificial light pollution as possible (find a dark sky). No need for binoculars, just lie back with a clear sky view, and be patient. While the meteors originate from the northeastern sky, you can see them just about anywhere…best to just focus on the darkest section of the night sky overhead.
One tip for tonight: the moon will be rising after midnight. Best viewing is always on a moon-less sky. So peak viewing hours will be from about 10 p.m. to midnight.
And, if you miss the show tonight, there should still be some leftovers Wednesday night.
One final note…there will be a few isolated showers/storms tonight, clearly an issue for viewing if they occur overhead. Otherwise, weather conditions will be very warm and humid…bring the bug spray!