How to Watch Perseid 2020, the Most Popular Meteor Shower Expected to Peak Tuesday

View of meteorite streaking over Trona Pinnacles near Death Valley, California during annual Perseid Meteor Showers, August 2, 2019.
Getty Images

Skywatchers set your clocks: the Perseid meteor shower peaks tomorrow in the early morning hours, according to NASA. These dazzling meteor showers appear when East passes through the rubble left by Comet Swift-Tuttle, say NASA officials. 

The bright Perseids has been described as the most popular meteor shower of the year.

According to experts, a bright meteor shower has an impressive average rate of between 50 and 75 meteors per hour; in outburst years, it can produce upwards of 150 to 200 meteors per hour.  Years without moonlight see higher rates of meteors per hour, and in outburst years (such as in 2016), the rate can be between 150-200 meteors an hour. 

Meteor showers are visible with the naked eye. The best time to view these shooting stars is during the pre-dawn hours when spectators can expect to see the highest number of meteors during the shower’s peak, says NASA. However, bright moonlight from the waning last quarter moon this year could interfere with catching a glimpse of the spectacle, according to Slooh, the online astronomy learning platform.

For optimal viewing, go to the darkest possible location and lean back to observe as much sky as possible directly above you. Look up and to the north. Those in southern latitudes can look toward the northeast to see more meteors.

Those astronomy buffs, who missed the peak time frame, will still be able to catch a meteor show at midnight and dawn, any morning of the week, says NASA, before or after this date.

This NASA sky map shows where to look to spot the Perseid meteor shower of 2020, which peaks before dawn on Aug. 12, 2020.
NASA/JPL-Caltech

This NASA sky map shows where to look to spot the Perseid meteor shower of 2020, which peaks before dawn on Aug. 12.

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