How to catch the Perseid meteor shower starting Wednesday night

Perseid meteor shower

Better still, viewing conditions this time around are particularly ideal - due to a new moon.

The meteor shower will reach its peak on the nights of August 11 and 12, and the show will get underway around midnight local time.

It's nearly time for the annual Perseid Meteor Shower, and NASA expects it'll be the most dazzling meteor shower of the year.

If you happen to be in a light-pollution-free area with nice weather, you'll probably be able to see about 60 or 70 meteors streaking through the moonless sky, according to NASA estimates.

So how do you see it?

Even if you aren't an avid astronomer, you'll still have a great view.

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Active Junky, which is also the sister site of Space.com, has provided a list of the nation's top cities, and the best places they can go to watch the meteor show. Just make sure you have a clear view of a large swathe of the sky and be patient.

Meteor showers are typically visible with the naked eye, and so no special equipment is needed (Photo: Shutterstock)How regular will the meteors be?

The Perseid shower is named after the constellation of Perseus. If you can't escape the city, try a golf course or a park.

Meteors are bright streaks of light, which can shoot across the sky so fast they are seen in the blink of an eye.

The Perseids happen each year as Earth passes through the trail of dust left behind by the comet Swift-Tuttle, which makes a full orbit of the sun every 133 years.

Earthsky's Bruce McClure said "it should be an awesome year to watch the Perseids!" The best Perseid performance we know of occurred in 1993, when the peak rate topped 300 meteors per hour, Cooke said. The Slooh observatory will host a livestream of the shower starting at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday.

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