The Perseid Meteor Shower is one of the most spectacular and highly anticipated meteor showers of the year, and this years’ shower will appear on a particularly clear night. Often considered one of the most prolific, beautiful meteor showers of the year, viewers may get a chance to see 50 to 60 meteors an hour, with the possibility of seeing hundreds during a single hour.
The Perseids occurs as Earth passes through the debris trail left by the Comet Swift-Tuttle, according to Space.com. NASA reports that Comet Swift-Tuttle is the largest solar system object that repeatedly passes close to Earth, and it completes a full orbit every 133 years. “The meteorites from the comet’s trail appear to come from the constellation Perseus, which lends the shower its name,” Space.com reports.
You can watch a live stream of the meteor shower below, provided by the Virtual Telescope Project. It features a live stream from Italian astrophysicist Gianluca Masi. It will begin Sunday, August 12 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern/3:30 p.m. Central.
The shower is expected to be visible from across the country, but Space.com recommends viewers find the darkest place they can find to view the shower, to avoid light pollution from ruining the spectacle. Traveling even a few miles away from bright, urban city centers can make a huge difference in the visibility of the Perseids shower.
Accuweather recommends viewers “Lay on your back and watch the whole sky, not just the radiant point, and avoid looking at your phone and other light sources,” when viewing the meteor shower.
While you’re waiting for the live stream to begin, check out last year’s time lapsed Perseid meteor shower over Sauk Rapids, Minnesota: