Best times for you to view this weekend's Perseid meteor shower

Posted at 10:48 AM, Aug 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-11 12:29:00-04

Don't you just hate to dust?

As soon as you get done, it seems like there is another layer already forming. Well, the dust you will want to see tonight and Saturday night is from the comet Swift-Tuttle. While most of the "comet dust" is only the size of grains of sand, they can make a spectacular show in the night sky as they burn up in the earth's upper atmosphere at speeds of around 37 miles per second.

The Perseid meteor shower will be at its height of activity this weekend.

That means you will see the greatest number of meteors in the shortest amount of time tonight and Saturday night. The average rate for the Perseids is about 80 meteors an hour. That's just over one per minute.

This year, however, there is a problem. The moon will be waning and will still be about 80% of the brightness of the full moon. The moon light will make the meteor rate appear to be about half of the average because of the bright light.

The moon rises around 11 p.m. so if you get out to watch just before that you may get a better show even though the peak hours of the showers are between midnight and dawn. Look just east of north to see the source area of the meteors. They will originate in that part of the sky.

Of course our weather has to cooperate as well to have a good show.

Tonight it will take some time after dark for the shower and storm chances to move east and the clouds to clear behind a cold front. Overall, the better viewing will be Saturday night with a clear sky. With drier air in place here the sky will appear clearer and allow for a better show.

So set up your lawn chair, grab a drink and some snacks and don't forget to pack your patience!