NASA’s tips for best Perseid meteor shower viewing
Scores of shooting stars will streak across the night sky early next week as the best meteor shower of the year reaches its peak.
Up to 100 meteors per hour will occur during the peak of the Perseid meteor shower, which begins Monday night and continues into early Tuesday morning, according to AccuWeather.
Unfortunately, a nearly full moon will make spotting those meteors a major challenge, according to Space.com.
“It won’t be a total wash-out, because the Perseids are rich in bright meteors, but the moonlight is going to spoil most of the show,” NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke told Space.com.
For prime meteor viewing, NASA suggests watching the skies early Monday and Tuesday morning. Face toward the east and look up.
According to NASA, the Perseids are best seen between about 2 a.m. and dawn. The moon will set around 3 a.m. Monday, giving stargazers “about an hour of dark sky to catch the shower,” the agency said.
“You’ll have a better chance to see meteors when the moon is low in the west, or the brief period after it sets,” NASA said.
The Perseid meteor shower is considered “one of the best meteor showers of the year due to its high rates and pleasant late-summer temperatures,” according to NASA. The Perseids first appeared in late July and are active until Aug. 24, according to Forbes.
The Perseids aren’t the only astronomical treat in store in coming days, when Jupiter, Saturn and the moon are set to align.
On Friday night, the moon will appear next to Jupiter, according to AccuWeather.
The moon will gradually move closer to Saturn throughout the weekend, according to EarthSky.
On Sunday night, Saturn and the moon “will cross the sky together for most of the night,” according to Space.com.
If you’re looking for meteors, NASA recommends lying flat on your back in an area away from city lights — and come prepared with a blanket or lawn chair.
Look up and give your eyes about 30 minutes to adjust; then you’ll be able to see the show.