Tonight, August 11th, the Perseus meteor shower will blanket the skies with a predicted 80 meteors per hour. They’ll seem to originate from the constellation Perseus, in the Northeast corner, and appear on the horizon at about 10 p.m. local time with the bulk of meteors being visible after midnight. The moon’s light (72% full) will interfere with the Perseids, but it will set at about 1 a.m. So the best viewing will be after moonset.
The Perseids are part of the Comet Swift-Tuttle; the largest object known to repeatedly pass by Earth. Its nucleus is about 16 miles wide and last passed nearby Earth during its orbit around the sun in 1992 and not expected again until 2126.
While the meteors are certainly bright, they are typically not much larger than a grain of sand. However, as they travel at immense speeds, these tiny particles stage an impressive show.
It takes about 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark. So invite some friends, enjoy your deck or take the boat for a midnight ride, then, just relax and look upward for the celestial show.