Get ready to pull an all-nighter because the Perseid Meteor Shower peaks this Thursday and trust us, you don’t want to miss it.
Often acclaimed as one of the best meteor showers to view, the Perseid show is especially unique this year, with scientists referring to it as an ‘outburst’.
What does that mean? Well, for 2016 the shower could produce up to 200 meteors per hour, which is twice the average.
In case you’re unfamiliar with this natural phenomenon, it occurs annually from around July 17 to Aug. 24.
During this time, the Earth crosses the orbital path of an ancient comet and this year, we’re even closer to the trailing debris.
“The meteors you’ll see this year are from comet flybys that occurred hundreds if not thousands of years ago,” stated Bill Cooke from NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office.
Talk about a meta experience.
The Griffith Observatory has already reported seeing an increase in meteor activity this week with viewers spotting 12 to 40 meteors throughout the night.
However, peak viewing hours won’t occur until Thursday night and early Friday morning.
So, how can you view the light show? Here are some tips to get you started:
- Stay awake until or set your alarm for midnight to sunrise on Friday morning for peak viewing time.
- Find a viewing spot away from the city lights (not the easiest thing in Los Angeles). Some reasonably close options might include the San Gabriel Mountains, Cleveland National Forest, Angeles National Forest, Los Padres National Forest, the Mojave Desert, or Anza Borrego Desert. The L.A. Times also has a few suggestions if you want to trek even further.
- Make sure you allow your eyes about 45 minutes to adjust to the darkness before viewing.
- Bring some coffee/tea and prepare yourself an apporpriate playlist to keep you awake while you wait.
If you can’t make it to a decent viewing spot, have no fear.
The NASA Channel on Ustream will be broadcasting the meteor shower all Thursday night as well as Friday night.
Wherever you are, make sure to take a few moments to glance up and see what you can see.