GET READY FOR THE PERSEID METEOR SHOWER PEAK THIS WEEKEND - THE METEOR SHOWER OF THE YEAR
the Perseids are perhaps the most popular meteor shower of the year; and in 2018, they'll be the best shower of the year. During the Perseids' peak this week, spectators should see about 60-70 meteors per hour, but in outburst years (such as in 2016) the rate can be between 150-200 meteors an hour. The meteor shower's peak will be visible both the nights of Aug. 11-12 and Aug. 12-13, Cooke said, but he's inclined this year to lean toward the night of Aug. 12-13 for the better show. (Both, however, should be spectacular.)
"This year the moon will be near new moon, it will be a crescent, which means it will set before the Perseid show gets underway after midnight," Cooke said. "The moon is very favorable for the Perseids this year, and that'll make the Perseids probably the best shower of 2018 for people who want to go out and view it." The Perseids are rich in fireballs, so the show should be even better
WATCH THE 2015 PERSEID METEOR SHOWER DISPLAY BELOW
When to see them?
Earth will pass through the path of Comet Swift-Tuttle from July 17 to Aug. 24, with the shower's peak — when Earth passes through the densest, dustiest area — occurring on Aug. 12. That means you'll see the most meteors in the shortest amount of time near that peak, but you can still catch some action from the famed meteor shower before or after that point.
You can see the Perseid meteor shower best in the Northern Hemisphere and down to the mid-southern latitudes, and all you need to catch the show is darkness, somewhere comfortable to sit and a bit of patience.
When you sit back to watch a meteor shower, you're actually seeing the pieces of comet debris heat up as they enter the atmosphere and burn up in a bright burst of light, streaking a vivid path across the sky as they travel at 37 miles (59 km) per second. When they're in space, the pieces of debris are called "meteoroids," but when they reach Earth's atmosphere, they're designated as "meteors." If a piece makes it all the way down to Earth without burning up, it graduates to "meteorite." Most of the meteors in the Perseids are much too small for that; they're about the size of a grain of sand.
Check out some of the Perseids meteors I have photographed over the years.