Perseid meteor shower peaks tonight

Perseid meteor shower peaks tonight
Perseid meteor shower (Source: KCBD)

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Considered the "best" meteor shower of the year, the Perseids are active from July 17 through August 24. But the best opportunity to see the most meteors in the shortest time is tonight. That is, the shower peaks tonight.

At maximum, typical rates vary from 50 to 75 meteors per hour. During a prolific year there may be 100 or more per hour!

HOWEVER, don't expect to see many at all if you are in Lubbock or another city. The light of the city will wash out all but the brightest meteors. Both rates mentioned are viewing from a dark sky location. The point is to get as far away from "light pollution" as possible.

Be prepared to sit outside for a few hours, so bring something you'll be comfortable in/on. Once there, lean back or recline and take in the sky. The meteors will appear to come from the north, but you don't have to look in that direction. Just look up.

Don't forget water, snacks, and bug repellent. It can take about 30 minutes for our eyes to adjust to the dark. The longer you wait, the more you'll see.

The best viewing time is around 4 AM, but there should be something to the pre-dawn hours. Even if you can't get out tonight, tomorrow night will be nearly as active as the number of meteors will only gradually diminish over the next two weeks.

These are quick, moving at about 37 miles per second - that's 2,220 miles per minute, or 133,200 miles per hour! That's more than 2,000 times the legal speed limit on the Loop.

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