Perseid Meteor Shower 2019: Dates, best time to view, direction to look and more

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019
What to know to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower
The Perseids, which can produce up to 100 meteors per hour in our sky, peak early next week. Here's what you need to know to watch.

The annual Perseid Meteor Shower is considered one of the most exciting astronomical events of the year with good reason: They can produce up to 100 meteors per hour in our sky.

The Perseids peaks this week. Here's what you need to know:

What are the Perseids?

The Perseids are dust and debris from the Comet Swift-Tuttle, AccuWeather explains.

"Perseids are not only numerous, they are beautiful. Most of the meteors leave a glittering trail as they pass," AccuWeather Astronomy Blogger Dave Samuhel said. "They are multi-colored and many are bright."

When are the Perseids in 2019?

The Perseid Meteor Shower will peak overnight on Monday night. The best time to view is between midnight and daybreak on Tuesday.

However, the Perseids last more than one night, so AccuWeather advises trying to view before the peak, when the moon won't be so full.

"People should consider viewing meteors during the nights leading up to the peak," Samuhel said. "There will still be plenty of meteors, and, you will not have to battle as much moonlight."

SEE ALSO: Saturn, Jupiter to align with moon this weekend

How do I watch the Perseids?

The Perseids can be seen with the naked eye. At optimal viewing time (around 4 a.m. ET|1 a.m. PT), the radiant point is northeast.

Here are a few of AccuWeather's tips for watching:

Check the latest forecast. If patchy clouds are expected, prepare to be patient and wait for breaks.

Find an area with low light pollution. If you live in a city, consider traveling to an area with less light.

Lay on your back and watch the whole sky, not just the radiant point.

Avoid looking at your phone and other light sources. Look for the darkest area of the sky. Keep the moon your line of out of sight as best you can.

NASA is also providing a livestream of the shower which you can watcgh below:

What are the viewing conditions this year?

Viewing conditions generally depend on where you're watching from.

The cloud cover may impact visibility in some areas, AccuWeather warns. Since the moon is almost full, its light might drown out some of the dimmer meteors.

MORE: 3 things stargazers won't want to miss in the night sky in August 2019