When is the peak time of the Perseids meteor shower?
Jane Houston Jones of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) said the shower has a "broad peak" that extends over much of the weekend, while some meteor showers peak over the course of just a few hours. The night of Sunday, August 12 (as soon as it gets dark outside) is the best time to catch the show, but that broad peak means you'll be able to see meteors between sunset and dawn on the days surrounding the peak as well. It takes the Earth three weeks "to plow through the wide trail of cometary dust from Comet Swift-Tuttle," she said.
How to watch the Perseid meteor shower
To get the best view, head toward dark skies -- away from the light pollution of the city. It takes around 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the darkness. Meteors should be visible to some extent right at sunset, but the most active portion of the night will come after midnight, Cooke told Space.com. That gives you plenty of time to get some snacks ready, find a meteor shower buddy, and find a good spot in the darkness to hang out and take in the stunning show.
Hopefully, you'll have a clear and cloudless night in your location. (No small task in some areas with smoke obscuring the sky for many due to wildfires.) The surest way to miss out on a meteor shower is bad weather, so be sure to check your local forecast before you get too excited. Unfortunately, there's a chance that cloud cover and even wildfire smoke may spoil the experience for many people across the country, according to a forecast by AccuWeather. It looks like folks in parts of the Midwest and the Plains will have the best conditions.