Here are some viewing tips for the Perseid Meteor Shower that is expected to hit its peak late tonight/early tomorrow morning.
- Best hours to observe in Nevada are between midnight and 5 a.m.
- The moon will set at 12:12 a.m. locally. That means it will be best to wait until after that time to watch the shower. Skies are expected to be clear.
- Find an unobstructed area away from city lights. The darker the better. However, you should still be able to see a few even in town.
- Once you have found a spot, look at the northeastern portion of the sky. That will put the constellation of Perseus, the radiant of the Perseids shower, in your field of view
- Give your eyes 45 minutes to fully adjust to the darkness to view the meteors
- Have patience. Watching a meteor shower can require a great deal of patience. Meteors tend to come in bursts. You may not see any for several minutes and then see 10 in 10 seconds.
According to scientists, there could be as many as 150 to 200 meteors per hour, which is about 3 or 4 every minute. This will be the largest shower since 2009.
This year's spectacular show was set into motion more than a year ago when Jupiter passed closer than usual to the stream of dusty debris left in the wake of the Swift-Tuttle comet.
The best time to watch the shower will be after the moon sets. The moon is currently in its quarter phase, which means that it will be harder to see the shower while the moon is still up.
Also, Mars and Saturn and the moon will align during the meteor shower on Thursday night. The alignment is referred to as a celestial "summit meeting."
If you are unable to go outside, you can watch a live broadcast of the meteor shower on Ustream starting at 10 p.m. EDT (7 p.m. PDT). The broadcast will take place Thursday night through Friday morning and Friday night through Saturday morning.