What's the best direction to look in?
As NASA explains, meteors can be seen all across the starry heavens, so you don't have to keep your eyes on a certain part of the sky or look in a certain direction to see the display.
The radiant -- where the meteors appear to originate in the sky -- for the Perseids is the constellation Perseus (see the arrows in the above map), hence the shower's name. For the best viewing experience, locate the constellation, but don't look directly at it. The meteors will appear to be moving away from the radiant, streaking all over the sky. Again, the more sky you can see, the better.
Where to Watch the Perseid Meteor Shower
You can watch the gorgeous display from just about anywhere. All you need is a clear sky that’s far away from the light pollution of the city and a spot where trees and other objects aren’t obstructing your view of the heavens. But if you don’t have, say, a sufficiently dark backyard patio, there are all sorts of public viewing parties taking place all over the country -- some featuring experts to guide you through the meteor shower. Here’s are some of the events taking place across the US:
When: August 11 and 12
The Sedona Rouge Resort is hosting a two-night event called "Mars and Meteor Madness,” featuring a Dr. Sky-themed dinner as well as viewings of Mars and the meteor shower.
When: August 12, 7-10pm
The Canterbury Public Library is hosting an all-ages star party with games, popcorn, and ice cream.
When: August 12-14, 8:30pm-midnight
The Byron Forest Preserve's Weiskopf Observatory is hosting a free stargazing event. They recommend you bring lawn chairs or a blanket.
When: August 12, 11pm
The Gheens Science Hall & Rauch Planetarium is hosting a watch party.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
When: August 12, 10pm-2am
The Highland Road Park Observatory is hosting a meteor watch party. Officials request that all visitors come into the building for instructions before setting up chairs, blankets, etc. outside.
Carson City, Nevada
When: Night of August 12-13, midnight-2am
The Carson City Parks, Rec, and Open Space Department is hosting a free viewing party at Western Nevada College's Jack C. Davis Observatory. Wear closed-toed shoes for the hike.
Durham, North Carolina
When: August 12, 9-11pm
The Duke Teaching Observatory is hosting an open house, where you can hang out and check out the show.
Buxton & Corbett, Oregon
When: August 12, 9pm
The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is hosting two star parties on Monday -- one at Rooster Rock State Park east of Portland and one will be held at L.L. "Stub" Stewart State Park west of Portland.
When: August 12, 6:30pm
The Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh is hosting a Perseids watch party at the Mingo Creek County Park observatory. Night sky observation will start at about 8:45pm.
Davis, West Virginia
When: August 12 and 13, 9pm
Take in the Perseids at Black Water Falls State Park. The Nature Center will host Catch a Shooting Star with Paulita Cousin at 9pm. The naturalist will be around until midnight, and you can obtain a permit to stay longer if you'd like.
Ellison Bay, Wisconsin
When: August 12, 8:30-10pm
Hang out with guest astronomers from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. They’re hosting a presentation and will share a closer view from a high-powered telescope at Newport State Park, the state’s only International Dark Sky Park.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
When: August 12, 10pm
Wyoming Stargazing is hosting an event focused on the Perseids. The group meets on the lawn next to the Center for the Arts and educators are on hand with a large aperture telescope and iPads that can show you details about the night sky. Tickets are on a sliding scale from $0-15.