Year's Best Meteor Show Arrives Tonight

Northeast will have best view of Perseids

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 9, 2013 9:16 AM CDT | Updated Aug 11, 2013 7:29 AM CDT

(Newser) – The annual Perseid meteor shower is upon us, and if you don't know much about astronomy, a NASA rep simplifies it for you: "The Perseids are the good ones." Visible to the naked eye, the August shower will peak tonight and tomorrow, with optimal viewing time between midnight and dawn, reports USA Today. What does "optimal viewing" mean? As many as 70 meteors an hour. The Northeast is the country's prime viewing location, with the mid-Atlantic on the edge; clouds may dim the view on the West Coast and in the South, according to AccuWeather.com.

Some tips? "Get out of the city and the lights to give yourself a chance to see them," Astronomy's Michael Bakich says. Make sure it's dark enough to see the Big Dipper's seven stars, then give your eyes an hour to adjust. "There will be a dozen 'ooh' moments in that hour." If the sky is clear, you'll almost certainly see dozens of meteors in that time, the Guardian reports. Check this map to see your viewing conditions.

A Perseid meteor flashes across the constellation Andromeda on Aug. 12, 1997, in this 8-minute exposure taken in Florence Junction, Ariz.
A Perseid meteor flashes across the constellation Andromeda on Aug. 12, 1997, in this 8-minute exposure taken in Florence Junction, Ariz.   (AP Photo/SkyandTelescope.com, Rick Scott and Joe Orman)
Astronomers observe the night sky for the Perseid meteor shower at an observatory near the village of Avren east of the Bulgarian capital Sofia, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2009.
Astronomers observe the night sky for the Perseid meteor shower at an observatory near the village of Avren east of the Bulgarian capital Sofia, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2009.   (AP Photo/Petar Petrov)
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