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Perseid meteor shower 2018: How and when to watch the sky’s best show of the year

Don’t miss the celestial spectacle of 2018.

The Perseid meteor shower, which occurs every August due to debris left behind from Comet Swift-Tuttle, is almost here.

» RELATED: This is the best place to see the Perseid meteor shower in Georgia

According to experts at Space.com, the shower will peak during overnight hours as Aug. 11 turns into Aug. 12 and again overnight Aug. 12-13. While both shows will be magical, the latter may be just a little better, NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke told Space.com.

At peak, meteors will race at rates of about 60-70 meteors per hour, up from last year’s rate (40 to 50 per hour), but not as glamorous as it was in 2016, when 150-200 meteors bursted per hour.

» RELATED: Photos: Perseid meteor shower brightens the night sky 

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“This year the moon will be near new moon, it will be a crescent, which means it will set before the Perseid show gets underway after midnight,” Cooke said. “The moon is very favorable for the Perseids this year, and that'll make the Perseids probably the best shower of 2018 for people who want to go out and view it.”

When to see the Perseid meteor shower

Meteors streak above the Wyoming countryside early Tuesday morning north of Cheyenne in this time-elapsed photo. The past couple nights were the peak of the Perseids Meteor Shower, which run from mid-July through mid-August. The shower, which gets its name from the constellation, Persus, are the remants from the comet Swift-Tuttle, which last past through in 1992 and won't pass by again until the year 2125. (AP Photo/The Wyoming Tribune Eagle, Blaine McCartney) (Blaline McCartney)

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. And according to Astronomy magazine and NASA’s Bill Cooke: the predawn hours of August 13 will be ideal.

» RELATED: 9 best places to see the stars —the real ones —around Atlanta 

Where to see the Perseid meteor shower

(Photo by Ali Ihsan Ozturk/(Anadolu Agency)/Getty Images) (Anadolu Agency)

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.

» RELATED: 9 best places to see the stars —the real ones —around Atlanta 

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:

Stephen C. Foster State Park

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.

Moccasin Creek State Park

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.

» RELATED: How to see the Milky Way - nearly free and clear - in Georgia 

Cooper’s Creek Recreational Area

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:

Chicago, Illinois

Indiana Dunes State Park

Silver Springs State Park

Headlands International Dark Sky Park in Mackinaw City, Michigan

Houston, Texas

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

Miami, Florida

Everglades National Park

LaBelle, Florida

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

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

French Creek State Park

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

Cherry Spring State Park

Sproul State Forest

Hooversville, Pennsylvania

Phoenix, Arizona

Tres Rios Wetlands

Lake Pleasant

Sun Valley Parkway

Seattle, Washington

Dash Point State Park

Salt Water State Park

Kayak Point Park

Mary E. Theler Wetlands Nature Preserve

Washington, D.C.

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Greenbelt National Park

Burke Lake Park

Sky Meadow State Park

Read more at ActiveJunky.com.

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.

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