The Perseids Are About to Hit Their Peak, Here's When to Look Up
Expect to see an average of 100 meteors per hour during the epic shower's peak.
Close your eyes and get ready to make a lot of wishes—or actually, you'd better keep your eyes open for this one!
The beloved Perseid meteor shower is officially upon us, and like every year, it is active from mid-July to late August. However, as NASA points out, this year it is peaking on the night of Saturday, August 12, which is *checks notes* this weekend. In addition to this, the days surrounding the peak—August 11 and August 13—should also provide opportunities to see the shower.
We've got some great news for you, stargazers. It's supposed to be a great year for Perseid meteors, which are generally thought to be one of the most impressive meteor showers most years, even if last year's show was a bit of a bust due to a full moon. According to Space.com, the moon is set to be only 10% illuminated during the shower's peak this year, making it ideal conditions to better see the meteors. Don't worry about missing out—they're supposed to be many. The Perseids flaunt a very high rate of meteors per hour, and they can reach a rate of between 150 and 200 per hour. On average, according to NASA, you can catch around 100 per hour.
Though the Perseids are peaking this weekend, they have already been active since July 17, so stargazers have already captured some gorgeous shots of the shower ahead of its peak. Last week, the Department of the Interior posted an epic timelapse video to X (formerly Twitter) that captured the Perseids streaking across the night sky.
Where to look for the Perseid meteor shower
Now, onto the important stuff. Where and when should you locate yourself to better see them? The answer is the Northern Hemisphere, to start. In terms of an actual spot, you should aim to find the darkest possible location, so it is advisable to do some research and find the nearest Dark Site or a place with very low light pollution. You might want to go to sleep early before your stargazing endeavor, though—the best time to catch them is the pre-dawn hours.
Once you've done that, you're pretty much set—you won't need any equipment or binoculars, but you should allow your eyes to adapt to the dark. In order to do that, lay down and look at the sky towards the north for a good 30 minutes, after which you can expect to start seeing some gorgeous shooting stars. Additionally, NASA recommends getting comfortable—bring a blanket or a sleeping bag, and plan to lie flat on your back. Happy stargazing!