The Perseids, the most widely observed and dependable of the annual meteor displays, will peak during the overnight hours of Thursday, Aug. 11 into the morning of Friday, Aug. 12, and this year has all the earmarks of being a spectacular show.
First, there is the situation regarding the moon. At first glance, it appears that the viewing conditions aren’t very good, as the peak night coincides with a waxing gibbous moon, 63-percent illuminated. Its bright light no doubt will wash out all but the very brightest of these swift streaks, which chiefly will emanate from out of the northeast part of the sky. However, there is some very good news: Early Friday morning (Aug. 12), the moon will set near 1:00 a.m. local time. Dawn breaks at about 4:20 a.m. around the mid-northern latitudes. Between those two times, there will be a nearly 3.5-hour “window” during which the sky will be totally dark.
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