You might want to start working on some neck flexibility exercises today so that you can get ready to scan the northern sky for 'shooting stars' during the annual Perseid Meteor Showers.  Every August, the night sky dazzles with anywhere from 50-75 meteors as the Earth passes through the remnants of the Swift-Tuttle Comet.  There have been some years when up to 200 meteors an hour have been observed.

This year, there are two slight obstacles to overcome for best viewing.  If you want to see the most meteors, you'll have to stay up late...pretty much after midnight. Secondly, the moon is going to be pretty bright during some of the peak viewing hours, and that may make it hard to see some of the dimmer meteors streaking across the sky.  So, with that being said, here's what you'll need to do to take in the Perseids through August 13, with tonight (August 11) being the best night for viewing.

  • Look generally towards the northern sky.
  • Try to get away from any sort of 'light pollution'.
  • Give your eyes time to adjust to the darkness.
  • You can start viewing anytime it's dark, but the best viewing will come after midnight and up to near sunrise.
  • The optimum viewing will come between 12:40 - 1:40, that's before the half-moon starts it's trek across the sky
  • Take bug spray.  The mosquitoes will be out as well, but they'll be viewing your flesh and blood.

If you want to avoid the natural outdoors approach, you can take advantage of several observatories that will be offering live online views of their telescopes catching up close looks at the meteors. 

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