Perseids meteor shower 2018: When is it? It's one the best opportunities of the year for a celestial show, as the Perseids are known for producing dramatic meteors and even fireballs. However, this year with a dark clear sky, it's possible to see an incredible light show.
If you'd rather watch the Perseid meteor shower from the comfort of your own home, the Virtual Telescope Project is live broadcasting the shower from scenic Castel Santa Maria, Italy, beginning at 4:30 p.m. EST on August 12.
The Perseids are always popular with skywatchers, and this year's show could be especially dazzling - in part, experts say, because the crescent moon will have set and there will be no moonlight to wash out the fainter meteors. "Under a very dark sky, you might see up to one Perseid per minute late on Sunday night or after midnight on Monday morning".
The Perseids have presented a scintillating display for 2,000 years, according to NASA.
During exceptional years, I've counted more than 300 meteors during a single night.
The annual show is the result of Earth's proximity to the "gritty" debris of Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle, Boyle said in a release. The meteors will appear to streak away from and out of the constellations of Perseus and Cassiopeia.
This meteor shower and others can be seen in a time lapse from space in an interactive map provided with data from NASA Ames Researcher Peter Jenniskens.
The dust and debris are traveling quickly, at around 37 miles per second. They can reach between 3,000 and 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit during this shower.
"Most of the time when you get the highest fields is when the comet itself is actually close to the sun". He added that it takes at least 30 minutes for human eyes to adjust, so be patient and that you can expect to be outdoors for a few hours. The meteors can appear anywhere in the sky, but they look the brightest against the darkest sky, which is straight up.
Observers in mid-northern latitudes will have the best views. That means staying away from urban areas if possible, as light pollution can dominate in cities.
All you'll really need to do is crane your head upwards.
Also present in the night sky at this time is Mars, which will hang low in the south east.