Meteor shower enthusiasts have probably been looking forward to this for months, but if you’re new to the stargazing game, take note: The best meteor shower of the year is happening tonight.
The Perseid shower is scheduled to peak late on August 12 through the early morning of August 13. The shower is famous for its fast, bright meteors that streak across the sky and leave a wake of light behind them, though this year’s shower won’t be quite as dazzling as previous years due to the brightness of the full moon.
You will be able to start spotting meteors from 9:00 PM to 10:00 PM on Monday night, but the shower will peak around 2:00 AM. Of course, the best way to view the shower is by going somewhere with as little light pollution as possible, and make sure to allow at least 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the darkness. That includes not looking at bright screens, like your cell phone.
Don’t worry about bringing binoculars or a telescope to view the shower — those instruments will actually hamper your experience. They limit your field of view by focusing on a small portion of the sky, and with a shower as massive as the Perseids, you want to see as much of the sky as possible.
If you live in a city or somewhere you won’t be able to get a good first-hand view of the shower, you can watch NASA’s live stream on Facebook.