The Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks This Week. Here's How to Find Its Shooting Stars

The late-summer meteor shower will not be a show-stopper this year.

how to see perseid meteor shower
Dneutral Han/Moment/Getty Images

Lots of things are enjoyable even if they aren't the absolute best version of the thing. We all watched the last season of Game of Thrones, for instance. People still buy tickets to see the Buffalo Sabres. I sometimes eat gas station sandwiches.

If you feel about meteor showers like I apparently feel about sandwiches, the Perseids are peaking on the night of August 12 into the morning of August 13. It is not a banner year for what is often one of the two most exciting displays on the calendar. It is not a must-see celestial event of the year

This year, the shower's peak lands next to a full moon (it's also a supermoon). The bright moonlight of any full moon will impair your ability to see as many meteors as might otherwise be visible. It's like any form of light pollution. If you're standing in Midtown Manhattan, you're not going to see the Milky Way on a night when it might be clearly visible in the Boundary Waters.

Nonetheless, some people may want to get out and see what they're able to find. Or maybe they are camping anyhow and want to see how many shooting stars they can spot despite the less-than-ideal conditions.

How to see the Perseid meteor shower

The Perseids can show more than 100 meteors per hour. That will not happen this year. Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office tells that you should expect to see a more tepid 10-20 meteors per hour at its height.

To see that many, head out on the peak night after midnight. You'll also want to get as far from the light pollution of cities as possible. Like the light from the moon, human-made light pollution will greatly reduce what you're able to see.

Additionally, it can help to find the shower's radiant. The Perseid meteor shower has a radiant in the constellation Perseus. Though, meteors move away from the radiant, so you don't want to position yourself to stare at the radiant. The shooting stars from comet Swift-Tuttle can streak across any part of the sky.

The Perseids in 2022 will not be confused for a Fourth of July celebration, but you can still find meteors if you're heading out and looking up.

Ready to go stargazing?

Here are all the best stargazing events that you can get out and see this month or you could stay in a stream the northern lights from home. If you're just getting started, check out our guide to astronomy for beginners or easy stargazing road trips from big US cities.

Want more Thrillist? Follow us on InstagramTwitterPinterestYouTubeTikTok, and Snapchat.

Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow Dustin on Twitter.