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How to watch the Perseids and other meteor showers

This summer has multiple amazing events decorating the night skies

SHARE How to watch the Perseids and other meteor showers
The night sky during the Perseid meteor shower in the Pineios Lake near the village of Velanidi, Peloponnese, Greece.

In this picture with a long shutter speed, stars move on the night sky during the Perseid meteor shower in the Pineios Lake near the village of Velanidi, Peloponnese, Greece, late Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020.

Petros Giannakouris, Associated Press

The night sky is putting on a dazzling meteor shower show. Three different meteor showers — including the annual (and best) Perseids meteor shower — will be active from July to August, reported NASA.

Here’s your complete viewing guide to see the upcoming shooting stars.

What meteor showers are happening in July and August?

The Perseids, the Southern Delta Aquarids and the Alpha Capricorns are three meteor showers happening in July and August, per SI Live.

  • The Perseids are considered the ultimate meteor shower, according to NASA. Under ideal conditions, views can see up to 100 meteors per hour, making the Perseids one of the largest and brightest showers.
  • The Southern Delta Aquarids is a mid-sized meteor shower, per SI Live.
  • The Alpha Capricorns is a smaller meteor shower but remains notable for the brightness of its fireballs, said SI Live.

Each meteor shower peaks at a different time but all can be seen from anywhere in the world, per NASA.

When is the best time to watch the Perseids and other meteor showers?

The Perseids will begin around July 14 and continue through the end of August, peaking between Aug. 11 to 13, per Yahoo News. Every night, meteors can be seen as early as 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. but the best viewing will come in pre-dawn hours, starting at 2 a.m. and continuing till dawn.

  • The Southern Delta Aquarids began earlier in July and will peak on July 28 to 29, reported SI Live. There is no ideal hour to watch for these meteors.
  • Similarly, the Alpha Caprcornids began July 3 and will peak on July 30 but remain active until Aug. 15, reported SI Live.

How should you watch the meteor showers?

Meteor showers are visible across the entire sky so viewers don’t need to look in a particular direction, reported CBS News. No special equipment is needed. NASA actually discourages people from trying to watch through binoculars or telescopes because these limit the viewing field.

  • Meteor showers are best seen away from city lights and somewhere with a clear view of the sky, reported Yahoo News.
  • Watching meteor showers can become a waiting game so viewers are advised to dress appropriately and bring a blanket or chair to relax on while watching, per NASA.
  • To see as many meteors as possible, viewers must let their eyes adjust to the darkness and avoid phones or other devices with bright screens, NASA said.

NASA will also be livestreaming the Perseids — “nature’s fireworks” — from Aug. 11 to 12 if viewers encounter poor weather during the meteor shower’s peak.