The Perseid meteor shower is a yearly summer spectacle where the night sky is streaked with debris from Earth passing through a cloud left by the comet Swift-Tuttle.
This year, however, is going to be different. For 2016, the Perseid meteor shower is in the midst of an “outburst,” which means that the debris from the comet will be concentrated in front of the earth, resulting in brighter, bigger meteors, more often.
“Forecasters are predicting a Perseid outburst this year with double normal rates on the night of August 11-12,” said Bill Cooke with NASA’s Meteoroid Environments Office in Huntsville, Alabama. “Under perfect conditions, rates could soar to 200 meteors per hour.”
NASA says the best way to catch the Perseids is by going outside between midnight and dawn on the morning of August 12. Give your eyes around 45 mins to adjust to the dark while looking straight up.
The Perseids will be in the northeast section of the sky but don’t focus in that direction, just look up and let your eyes adjust.
Do not keep your phone out, or keep looking at it’s illuminated screen. The blue light makes it difficult for the eyes to readjust to the dark.
To be able to see the meteor shower you need to get away from light pollution in the city and head to somewhere really dark with an open view of the sky.
Driving out into the prairies or heading up towards the mountains will give you a nice, dark view.
For stargazers experiencing cloudy or light-polluted skies, a live broadcast of the Perseid meteor shower will be available via Ustream overnight on Aug. 11-12 and Aug. 12-13, beginning at 8 pm MST.