Perseid meteor shower 2016: peak times, howto live-stream, and where to view this spectacular meteor shower
Every year in August, the Swift-Tuttle comet puts on a brilliant show.
When the Earth plows into its wake, tiny bits of debris left behind fromthe comet slam into our atmosphere at 132,000 miles per hour,
reach temperatures of 3,000 to 10,000 degrees, and streak across the sky inwhat we call the Perseid meteor shower.
In a normal year, the** Perseids are the most spectacular meteor shower wecan see**.
Spectators can normally see around 60 to 100 meteors an hour.
Butthis is not a normal year. Astronomers are forecasting that the Perseids willbe firing twice as fast on the night of August 11-12. “Under perfectconditions, rates could soar to 200 meteors per hour,” said Bill Cooke,NASA’s head of meteoroid environments, in a press statement.
And lucky for us, nights are still long and warm. There’s no better time ofyear to stay up late, lay down a blanket, and stare at shooting stars.
Don’t miss this. Here’s everything you need to know to watch.
Wherecan I spot the Perseids?
A few Perseids can typically be seen each night between July 17 and August24. But they’ll peak on the nights of August 11 and 12.
And that’s when you’ll want to look toward the constellation Perseus — youknow, the mythical Greek hero who chopped off the head of the wretched gorgon](http://gorgon/) Medusa and lived to tell the tale.The meteors will rain like sparks from the hero’s righteous blade.
If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, you should be able to spot thePerseids rising in the northeastern sky each night during the peak of themeteor shower. NASA recommends](http://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/watchtheskies/perseid-meteor-shower-aug11-12.html)waiting until after midnight to start viewing. The sky will be darker then (themoon** will set aroundmidnight or 1 am**](http://www.timeanddate.com/moon/usa/seattle) for most of the US), and the constellationPerseus will be higher in the sky. The agency also advises to give your eyesaround 45 minutes to fully adjust to the darkness to view the meteors.
You’ll want to be in as dark of a place as you can get to — like a park faraway from city lights. Check with this online lightpollution map](http://www.lightpollutionmap.info/#zoom=7&lat=4712666&lon=-8541391&layers=B0TFFFF) to chart out a dark place to watch.