The Year's Biggest Meteor Shower Is This Week: How To See It

Photo: Robinson/ REX Shutterstock.
Here's another reason to go on that camping excursion and get out of the light-polluted city — right now is the prime time to stargaze.

According to NASA, the Perseid meteor show has been visible every night since late July. Its peak, however, will hit August 12 to August 13, just after midnight and during a new moon. So if you're going to spend an evening stargazing this year, NASA recommends that Wednesday, August 12, be the night.

Why? The Perseid shower is commonly considered the best of the year, full of fast, bright meteors — and plenty of them, at a rate of up to 100 meteors an hour — that often leave trademark, visible trails in the sky. "Perseids are also known for their fireballs [a very bright meteor]. Fireballs are larger explosions of light and color that can persist longer than an average meteor streak," according to information on 2015's Perseid shower posted on NASA's website. This year in particular will be astounding, since there won't be any moonlight to detract from the show.

"Moonlight is the bane of meteor watchers because bright moonlight washes out faint meteors," Alan MacRobert, senior editor at Sky and Telescope, told the L.A. Times. Naturally, getting out of the city to avoid light pollution is also key.

NASA recommends planning your stargazing activities for the hours right before dawn, but the meteor shower will start after 10 p.m. To see meteor activity in your area, check out NASA's estimator.
Advertisement

More from Living

Watch

R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Documentary
Five love stories behind diverse, multicultural marriages.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Life experiments, 5 days at a time.
Watch Now
Fashion
The style of subculture.
Watch Now
Beauty
Viral trends, tried and tested.
Watch Now
Documentary
From vibrators to lipstick, learn how your favorite products are made.
Watch Now
Documentary
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
Documentary
The latest stories to watch.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Inside the homes of millennial women — & what they paid for them
Watch Now
Comedy
Let's talk about sex, baby.
Watch Now
Documentary
Female artisans around the world
Watch Now
Politics
Made by and for smart, opinionated women.
Watch Now
Film
We helped 12 female directors claim their power.