LOS ANGELES - With the comet NEOWISE and a number of breathtaking meteor showers, this summer has certainly been a dazzling one for stargazers. But the star show is far from over: The Perseids are set to peak next week, and it’s likely to be the best meteor shower of the season.
The Perseids are active annually between July 14 and Aug. 24, according to NASA. This year, they are set to peak around the early mornings of Aug. 11 through Aug. 13.
According to the American Meteor Society (AMS), the Perseids were given their name due to the fact that the meteors seem to originate near the prominent constellation Perseus during their maximum activity. But the constellation is just an aid for viewers to recognize the shower, not necessarily the source of the meteors.
Under ideal weather conditions, stargazers can see up to 100 visible meteors per hour, making the Perseids one of the most plentiful meteor showers to watch. The combination of the high number of meteors and the warm summer nighttime weather makes the Perseids one of the best showers of the year to watch, according to NASA.
How to watch
The meteors are known for their long wakes of light and color as they streak across the sky. They are also known for their fireballs, which are longer and brighter than the average meteor streak.
For optimal viewing, NASA recommends viewing the Perseids in the Northern Hemisphere during the pre-dawn hours of Aug. 11 through Aug. 13, although it may be possible to spot meteors as early as 10 p.m.