When is the best time to enjoy the Perseid meteor shower?

Space

TOPSHOT – A Perseid meteor streaks across the sky above a camping site at the Negev desert near the city of Mitzpe Ramon on August 11, 2020 during the Perseids meteor shower, which occurs every year when the Earth passes through the cloud of debris left by the comet Swift-Tuttle. (Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP) (Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images)

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — One of the year’s best meteor showers, the Perseid, has begun dazzling stargazers across the U.S.

At its peak, the shower provides 50-100 meteors an hour for sky watchers to see, according to NASA.

When to watch it

The Perseid meteor shower is a yearly event viewable in the months of July and August. The Perseids are visible beginning July 14 and last through August 24. The peak is expected August 11 – 13.

Clear skies are key to viewing the meteor shower. It is visible in some places as early as 10 p.m., but the nightly peak is between 2 a.m. and sunrise.

What is it

The comet 109P/Swift-Turtle is responsible for the light show. The Perseid Meteor Shower is caused by the Earth traveling through debris and dust particles of the comet.

Those dust particles become the streaks of light visible in the sky when they collide with our atmosphere.

It’s called the Perseid meteor shower because the meteors appear to originate from the Perseus constellation. It is not the source of the show though.

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