SPOKANE, Wash. — It's that time of year again when the night sky puts on a spectacular show.
The peak of the Perseid meteor shower occurs this week during the early morning hours of Aug. 11-13. Depending on your location, you could see up to 60-100 meteors per hour. The best part of this astronomical event is that it occurs during the summer, when temperatures are mild and skies are usually clear.
The meteors themselves are leftover comet particles from Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle and bits from broken asteroids. The streaking lights we see across the sky occur when particles the size of sand grains enter the earth's upper atmosphere and burn up. The bigger fireballs one might see come from particles no bigger than a marble!
You don't need any special equipment to enjoy the meteor shower. Though the meteors will radiate from the constellation Perseus in the northern sky, you'll be able to see them all across the expansive sky. The best time for viewing will be between midnight and dawn. The farther you can get away from any light pollution, the more meteors you'll be able to see. The only other thing locally that may cut down on how many you see, would be smoke/haze from area wildfires.
Find a location away from city lights and with an unobscured view of the sky. Give your eyes a good 20 minutes to adjust to the dark, lay back and then enjoy the show!