How and when to watch the Perseid meteor shower this weekend

The Perseid Meteor Shower Will Put on Quite the Show This Weekend The Perseid Meteor Shower is making its annual return on August 10 through 13. Astrophysicist Ethan Siegel says it will be the best and brightest display that has been put on by the meteor shower in recent years. Named after the Perseus constellation, the Perseid meteor shower occurs every August when the Earth passes through the Swift-Tuttle comet debris. Bill Cooke, NASA meteor expert, to To get the best view, head somew

The Perseid meteor shower, which occurs every August because of debris left behind from Comet Swift-Tuttle, began in July, but it peaks this weekend.

According to NASA, you should make plans to stay up late or wake up early the nights of August 11 to 12 and August 12 to 13. The Perseids are best seen from midnight to just before dawn.

At peak in 2018, meteors raced at rates of about 60-70 meteors per hour. In 2016, we witnessed a whopping 150-200 meteors burst per hour. This year, however, stargazers will get a chance to revel in only about 15-20 meteors per hour.

Don’t let that turn you off from the spectacle, though. According to NASA, “the Perseids are rich in bright meteors and fireballs, so it will still be worth going out in the early morning to catch some of nature’s fireworks.”

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)

icon to expand image

You’ll be able to catch the popular meteor shower as Earth passes through the path of Comet Swift-Tuttle from late July until late August, but if you want to best views, it’s all about catching it at peak time: between 2 a.m. local time through predawn hours of August 13.

“People in the U.S. can reasonably expect to see around 40 Perseids in the hour just before dawn on the peak nights. That’s about one every couple of minutes, which is not bad,” Bill Cooke, who leads NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office, said on NASA’s blog. “However, we are assuming you are out in the country, well away from cities and suburbs.”

Where to see the Perseid meteor shower in person

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

icon to expand image

The Northern Hemisphere down to the mid-southern latitudes is prime real estate for this year's show, according to

Thanks to Active Junky, a sister site of, 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:

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.

Cooper’s Creek Recreational Area

6050 Appalachian Hwy Suches, GA 30572

Drive time from metro Atlanta: Approximately two hours

Campgrounds are first-come, first-served.

Best practices

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.