Set your alarms: Best meteor shower of the year will peak this week


Set your alarms for a dazzling show in the night sky.

Up to 100 shootings stars are expected to streak across the sky per hour when the annual Perseids meteor shower peaks this week, NASA says.

And this year's annual meteor shower is expected to be one of the best this year.

That's because it'll be "moonless." The event coincides with the new moon Friday (the moon will be in a crescent phase and not up for most of the night) – the darker sky will help people see even the dimmest meteors, if you're far enough from city lights, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Slooh Community Observatory says the to catch the best view of the Perseids, look up at the sky after midnight on Tuesday and Wednesday. NASA notes the meteor shower will peak Wednesday night through Thursday morning, with the best time to see the shower in the pre-dawn hours Thursday.

The forecast is calling for clear skies in Minnesota Wednesday night, which will be favorable for viewing the show.

Experts told CNN these conditions haven't been available since 2010. Last year, the Perseids coincided with the "super moon," making the show less visible.

Burning bits of ice and dust

The Perseids are associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the sun once every 133 years, NASA says. And every August, Earth passes through a cloud of the comet's debris.

That debris is made up of bits of ice and dust that burn up in Earth's atmosphere, which is what creates "one of the best meteor showers of the year," NASA notes.

The Perseids, which are named after the constellation Perseus (the direction from where the meteors appear to radiate), have been observed for 2,000 years, reports note.

Tips to view the show

If you're planning on getting up to catch the show, NASA suggests finding an open skyline where trees or buildings won't obstruct your view. For optimal viewing, find a spot that's far away from any artificial light.

Then, lie on your back on the ground and look straight up. But be patient, meteors tend to come in clusters, so it could take 10-20 minutes before you see any, and then you'll catch several in a row.

If facing mosquitos isn't your forte, NASA and Slooh will both be streaming the Perseids live online.

Next Up

vote, vote now

MN Supreme Court dismisses attempt to block election certification

Another legal defeat for Republicans challenging the election.

prison, Rush City cell block

Another Minnesota prison inmate dies after COVID-19 diagnosis

The virus has killed at least six Minnesota inmates.

leech lake band of ojibwe sign

11,760 acres of land wrongly taken from Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe will be returned

The Senate and now the House have passed a bill that effectively returns the land. It's now headed for the president's signature.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves release first half of 2020-21 regular season schedule

The second half of the schedule will be announced at a later date.

reindeer como zoo

Watch live: Como Zoo's live reindeer cam is back for December

The live feed will run 24/7 allowing you to keep an eye on Santa's antlered helpers.


Three simple ways to boost your immune health heading into winter

Eating right is one thing, but there are other ways to stay healthy as the days shorten.

Taylor Rogers

Why Twins fans shouldn't give up on Taylor Rogers

The Twins closer struggled in 2020 but could rebound next season.

Co. Rd. 2 crash, Wakefield Twp.

Teen driver leaves road, crashes into three trees

Fortunately, the 16-year-old was not injured.

mndot deer  tunnel 1

Minnesota is getting its first highway crossing for animals

This will provide a safe way for animals to cross the street, and hopefully limit deer-vehicle collisions.


Heads up: the Geminid meteor shower will peak tonight

Here's how to watch one of the best meteor showers of the year.

Lyrid meteor shower visible this weekend

If you can find clear skies away from artificial lights you might catch a nice show in the wee hours. The best viewing time will be about 3 a.m. to dawn on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Meteor shower will light up sky in early morning

An impressive meteor shower called the Quadrantids is set to hit the northern atmosphere from 3 a.m. to 5 a.m. Wednesday. You might see up to a meteor a minute if you're far enough from city lights and hardy enough to get up at that hour.