Astral phenomena are all the rage lately. Certain trends are specifically engineered to appeal to the masses (see: Pet Rocks), some come out of nowhere with a perplexing appeal (see also: Pet Rocks), and then some exist because they’re a cosmos event that does not concern itself with what people on Earth find interesting. Also, they’re really pretty to look at!
Meteor showers fall into that lattermost category. While the solar eclipse coming up on August 21 seems to be the agreed-upon cool thing going on in the sky this summer (check out the best places around the country to catch the eclipse!), another phenomenon has been flying a bit under the radar. On August 11th-13th, the Perseid showers will peak, and if you’re lucky, you’ll be given a heavenly visual experience.
The Perseid showers are a yearly occurrence, picking up in midsummer, and this year they’ve been going on since about July 17th. The meteors are typically fast-moving and bright, with an extended train that trails behind.
Although the brightness of the moon this weekend (Around 80 percent, according to TIME) will obscure some of the shower, you might be able to see upwards of 50 meteors per hour, according to Space.com.
The exact peak of the shower will be around 1 p.m. this Saturday, so your best bet to observe the Perseids will be either Friday or Saturday evening. So, grab a beer or some ice cream (two of the seven items banned from space) and pop a squat on your favorite lawn chair.