A sliver of a waxing moon should make for a good show this year. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight.
The Perseids is one of the busiest meteor showers, producing up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak. These particular meteors result from the Earth passing through the litter left behind by the comet Swift-Tuttle, first discovered in 1862.
For a while there, astronomers calculated that the Swift-Tuttle would collide with the Earth on my Mom’s birthday in 2126. Such an impact would have spoiled any posthumous celebrations since the comet is the largest near-Earth object that periodically goes through our sky. If Swift-Tuttle ever does hit the Earth, its 60 km/s impact will be about 27 times more energetic than the astroid strike that wiped out the dinosaurs.
The Perseids are famous for producing a large number of bright meteors. The shower runs annually from July 14 to August 24. It peaks this year on the night of August It peaks this year on the night of August 12 and the morning of August 13.
Meteors will radiate from the constellation Perseus, but can appear anywhere in the sky.