Even if the clouds roll in, there’s a way to see the most spectacular storm in years.
Macy’s may put on a spectacular fireworks show for the Fourth of July, but we’re sure outer space has them beat. The annual Perseid meteor shower is set to kick off on August 12, and it’s sure to be the year’s best sparkly spectacle.
The cosmic event takes place each August “when Earth ventures through trails of debris left behind by an ancient comet,” according to NASA. An average shower sees about 80 to 100 meteors per hour, but this year, because of a pesky three-quarters moon, that rate will drop to 40 to 50 per hour, Space.com reported. Though the meteor shower peaks around 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, astronomers at Slooh suggest staying up late on August 12 into the morning of August 13 to get the best glimpse of the showers.
Not surprisingly, this rare natural light show is attracting the attention of eager spectators wanting to know where to catch a glittery glimpse. Depending on where you are in the country, experts suggest spots like the beaches along the East Coast and Big Bear Lake in California. If you can’t escape New York, but still want a shot at seeing the show, then the Great Lawn in New York City‘s Central Park is your best bet if you go between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. when there’s less light pollution.
If you’re not near any of those locations, it’s still possible to watch across the northern hemisphere. NASA’s general viewing guidelines suggest prime viewing between midnight and dawn, but getting to the darkest place possible and allowing 45 minutes for your eyes to adjust.
And if you still don’t get a chance to head outside for yourself, Slooh will be live streaming the shower Sunday, August 13 starting at 8 p.m. ET.
This article was originally published in 2016. It has been updated with new information.