The Perseids meteor shower is one of the most vibrant of all meteor showers, often dropping about 80 flaming rocks per hour. It seems, though, that things have ramped up.
“This year, instead of seeing about 80 Perseids per hour, the rate could top 150 and even approach 200 meteors per hour,” NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke told Space.com.
August 12 is the day when the shower will be at its most intense. It will continue on until August 24. If you want to get a good view, check it out before the full moon on August 18.
To see them you do not need a telescope, binoculars or any other equipment. (If you can’t get out there is a live stream video at the bottom of this article)
The Perseids come from a point in front of the constellation Perseus which is in the north-eastern part of the sky, however the meteors can be seen from any point in the sky.
These meteors are actually space debris hitting the atmosphere and vaporizing. They are fragments, breaking off of the 26-kilometer (16 miles) wide Comet Swift-Tuttle, which regularly passes Earth.
So get out your space-viewing gear and be prepared for an epic show. I personally will be out in Britain on the night of the 12th August to get the best view.
If you want to find out more information on when and where you should be to get the best seat read at the bottom of the article where you will also find a live video stream.
If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, you should be able to spot the Perseids rising in the northeastern sky each night during the peak of the meteor shower. NASA recommends waiting until after midnight to start viewing. The sky will be darker then (the moon will set around midnight or 1 am for most of the US), and the constellation Perseus will be higher in the sky. The agency also advises to give your eyes around 45 minutes to fully adjust to the darkness to view the meteors.
What if I can’t/won’t go outside? Fear not! Live Stream Below
Try. But if you can’t, there is a live stream. Watch along with NASA on the video below. (Note: NASA’s broadcast of the shower won’t begin until 10 pm on August 10.)