"And interestingly, most of these meteors are amazingly small", she says. The Perseids tends to be one of the brightest and most active meteor showers of the entire year. The Perseids are best seen after 11 PM, away from city lights, and while looking at the northeastern sky.
The annual Perseid meteor shower is one of the most famous meteor showers of the year. If you're interested in upping your stargazing game, check out our guide to binoculars and telescopes, as well as how to take professional-level photographs of the stars. The meteors will appear to come from the constellation Perseus with Cassiopeia just above.
"For these meteor showers, we're passing through a bit of debris that's in the earth's orbit, and we're kind of picking it up like bugs on a windshield", Schmoll explained. And conditions for viewing the meteors will be next to ideal this year. But "Earthgrazer" meteors, which skim Earth's atmosphere and showcase long, blazing tails, are visible earlier when the radiant is low above the horizon. But even if you can't step outside a couple hours before the sun comes up, it's worth checking the sky in the late evening and early morning.
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Experts offer some tips to get the most out of nature's fireworks: Since Perseid meteors can be seen from any direction in the sky, viewers should pick out a dark patch of sky free of light pollution and wait for the meteors to appear.
Cooke said the first shooting stars will appear around 10:30 p.m. local time on august 12 and will come with increasing frequency as the night progresses. Planets like Mars and Saturn will also be visible during this time, until about 4 a.m. local time for the Red Planet and 2 a.m. local time for Saturn. Our advice? Bring a rug, a flask of tea (or, you know, whiskey - pick your poison) and some insect repellent, and get gazing. When it last passed by in 1992, this comet left a trail of stony grit, NASA reported. NASA recommends about 45 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the darkness.
Each time Swift-Tuttle passes through the warmth of the inner solar system, its frozen, 16-mile-wide nucleus releases debris along the comet's path - through which the Earth passes each summer.