Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks This Weekend; Here's Who Will Have the Best View

August 11, 2017

A Perseid meteor crosses the sky over the medieval Saint Kazimir Catholic church at night in the village of Vselyub, Belarus, Aug. 13, 2016.
(AFP/Getty Images)

One of the biggest meteor showers of the year is underway and will peak this weekend. 

The Perseid meteor shower, the annual event began in July and will last until Aug. 24, according to Space.com. The peak is expected Saturday, and during its best hours, stargazers can expect to see at least 80 meteors an hour, the report added.

That is, unless it's like last year, when the meteor shower produced an abnormally high number of shooting stars. If it's an outburst year, Space.com also said, you might see 150 to 200 meteors per hour.

The Perseid meteor shower occurs when Earth passes through Comet Swift-Tuttle's orbital path, which sends debris careening toward Earth's atmosphere at 130,000 miles per hour, according to EarthSky. The comet orbits the sun once every 133 years or so, and the next time it reaches its closest distance from the star will occur in July 2126, the report added.

The best viewing will be in California and parts of the mountain West, where clouds should be minimal, said weather.com meteorologist Chris Dolce.

Cloud cover from showers and thunderstorms may obstruct viewing in parts of the Plains, Midwest and South, and scattered cloud cover may also affect the Northeast in association with a frontal system.

If clouds don't obstruct your view, Sky and Telescope suggests finding the darkest possible location, and be sure to be in place in the final hour or two before sunrise, if not earlier, as that's the darkest time of the night. It'll take at least 15 minutes to adjust your eyes to the darkness, and be sure to find an area where the sky is minimally obstructed by trees, hills or other objects, the report also said.


The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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