Every year, August brings hot weather and the start of the school year. It also marks another occasion: the Perseid meteor shower.
The Swift Tuttle comet orbits the sun every 133 years. When the Earth travels through its debris, each year, the night sky offers a spectacular show via the Perseids.
It’s one of the more active showers, with about 90 meteors per hour.
Lou Coban manages the University of Pittsburgh’s Allegheny Observatory, and says the meteor shower will peak around 9 p.m. Monday. However, the National Weather Service is predicting storms that will likely make it difficult to see.
NWS meteorologist Lee Hendricks says Sunday night into early Monday morning is expected to yield clear skies, though.
“That would probably be your best window for viewing,” Hendricks said.
And you don’t need a telescope to enjoy the show, Coban said.
“You want to just find a nice big open field and lay down on the ground and just look straight up overhead,” he said.
You can also catch the meteor shower via NASA’s Facebook page. The Carnegie Science Center will also host a Perseid stargazing event Tuesday night.
The Perseid meteor shower won't be last celestial event of its kind this year. Coban says you can catch the Orionids in October or the South Torrids and North Torrids in November. The Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh also hosts regular stargazing events.