Move over, total solar eclipse — the most popular meteor shower of the year is back.
The Perseid meteor shower, which occurs every August due to debris left behind from Comet Swift-Tuttle, will be visible until Aug. 24.
According to experts at Space.com, the shower will peak during overnight hours as Aug. 11 turns into Aug. 12 and once again during overnight hours between Aug. 12-13.
Though the near-full moon and its bright moonlight will slow down typical meteor rates, making meteors a little more difficult to see this year, NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke said of the two nights, the meteor show will be most visible in the predawn hours of Aug. 12.
Normally, meteors race at rates of about 80 meteors per hour. “Instead of 80 to 100, [there will be] 40 to 50 per hour. And that's just because the moon's going to wash out the fainter ones,” Cooke told Space.com.
But the good news, he said, “is that Perseids are rich in fireballs” and the shower is still certainly worth stepping outside to catch a glimpse of.
When to see the Perseid meteor shower
You’ll be able to catch the popular meteor shower as Earth passes through the path of Comet Swift-Tuttle (July 17 to Aug. 24), but if you want to best views, it’s all about catching it at peak time.
The best time to catch the meteor shower is when the sky is darkest. And with the Perseids peaking around 1 p.m. EDT Aug. 12, the predawn hours of Aug. 12 are deemed the best to catch the stellar event this year.
But, according to Cooke, both the predawn hours of Aug. 12 and Aug. 13 will be a decent show.
Where to see the Perseid meteor shower
The Northern Hemisphere down to the mid-southern latitudes is prime real estate for this year’s show, Space.com reported.
Thanks to Active Junky, a sister site of Space.com, even city dwellers can get in on the fun, despite all the light pollution.
In Atlanta, Active Junky advises city dwellers in or nearby the bright buildings, traffic and other sources of light pollution, to travel to the following areas:
17515 Highway 177
Fargo, GA 31631
Drive time from metro Atlanta: Four hours and a half hours
This Okefenokee Swamp park was voted one of the best spots in the world for star gazing last year by the International Dark Sky Association for its vast skies and minimal light pollution.
The remote Georgia park is perfect for viewing all things celestial, including the famed Perseid meteor shower in August.
Make your reservations at one of the park’s 64 campsites.
North Georgia mountains
The beautiful mountains in northeast Georgia make for ideal campgrounds during the Perseid shower.
Some popular campgrounds near the mountains can be found at Moccasin Creek State Park and Cooper’s Creek Recreational Area.
3655 Georgia Hwy197
Clarkesville, GA 30523
Drive time from metro Atlanta: Less than two hours
Make reservations at one of Moccasin Creek’s 54 campsites.
6050 Appalachian Hwy
Suches, GA 30572
Drive time from metro Atlanta: Approximately two hours
Campgrounds are first-come, first-serve.
Here are the best star-gazing locations to catch the Perseid meteor shower in or near the nation’s other biggest cities, according to Active Junky:
Indiana Dunes State Park
Silver Springs State Park
Headlands International Dark Sky Park in Mackinaw City, Michigan
Brazo Bend State Park
Sam Houston National Forest
Houston Museum of Natural Science
Los Angeles, California
Angeles National Forest
Santa Monica Mountains
Topanga State Park
Malibu Creek State Park
Everglades National Park
Lorida, Florida (Kissimmee River public area)
New York, New York
Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn
Carl Schurz Park in the Upper East Side
Jamaica Bay on Ruffle Bar Island
Cedar Point County Park on Long Island
North-South Lake Campground
French Creek State Park
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
Cherry Spring State Park
Sproul State Forest
Tres Rios Wetlands
Sun Valley Parkway
Dash Point State Park
Salt Water State Park
Kayak Point Park
Mary E. Theler Wetlands Nature Preserve
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Greenbelt National Park
Burke Lake Park
Sky Meadow State Park
How to see the Perseid meteor shower
Dark and vast skies are essentially all you need to take in the sights of the Perseid meteor shower.
With peaks during overnight hours, you may also want to dress in warm clothes, bring a blanket or lawn chair to sit on, a snack and water and some bug spray.
If you want to watch the spectacle from the comfort of your bed, NASA also typically launches a UStream via their NASA TV channel.
Return to AJC.com in August for updates about the Perseid meteor shower livestream.