2021 Perseid meteor shower peaks tonight: Here’s how to see it

Annual meteor shower to peak on Aug. 11

The peak of the annual Perseid meteor shower is almost here!

Each year, between July and August, the meteors can be seen in our skies as the earth crosses paths with the comet Swift-Tuttle.

The Perseids can be seen throughout the event, but the best time to view the shower is during its peak -- which is this week.

According to NASA, the peak of the 2021 Perseid meteor shower will take place overnight on Wednesday, Aug. 11 through the dawn of Thursday, Aug. 12.

How to watch the 2021 Perseid meteor shower

Thanks to a crescent moon that will be setting early on Wednesday, NASA says the meteor shower will be visible for most starting around midnight and through dawn.

And while you might have luck sky watching from Detroit, you’re more likely to witness the meteor shower from somewhere darker, like the suburbs.

On Aug. 11, head somewhere away from light pollution (if you can), turn your eyes toward the northern sky and keep them there -- experts say it’s essential to let your eyes adjust completely to the dark to be able to really see the meteors. NASA says to let your eyes adjust for up to an hour, if possible.

Once you’re primed for viewing, keep your eyes peeled: The Perseids move quickly, and will appear as fast, small streaks of light across the sky.

If you’re in a dark enough area, experts say you could see more than 40 meteors per hour during the shower’s peak.

Where do the meteors come from?

The Perseid meteors, which are technically called meteoroids, come from the comet Swift-Tuttle.

Here’s more from NASA: The Perseids are fragments of the comet Swift-Tuttle, which orbits between the sun and beyond the orbit of Pluto once every 133 years. Every year, the earth passes near the path of the comet, and the debris left behind by Swift-Tuttle shows up as meteors in our sky. (Don’t worry, there’s no chance that we’ll run into the actual comet anytime soon.)

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About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.