Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks Tonight

Aug 11, 2020

The Perseid meteor shower peaks tonight and tomorrow, offering a dazzling display of shooting stars. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports on how to watch.

Credit NASA/Bill Ingalls

It’s considered one of the best meteor showers of the year, with the chance of seeing fifty shooting stars an hour at its peak. The best time to watch is usually between midnight and dawn, but this year a wide crescent moon rising around midnight will interfere somewhat with the show. Starwatchers should position themselves in the moon’s shadow, blocking out its glare with a house or other structure. Or try watching the skies in the evening hours before the moon rises. They’ll be fewer meteors but more chance of spotting an “earthgrazer”—a long, colorful fireball that lingers in the sky. Meteors will radiate from the constellation of Perseus in the northeast and they’ll cross all parts of the sky. The shower will continue at diminishing rates over the next ten days.