How to Watch the 2018 Perseid Meteor Shower Tonight

Milky Way is the galaxy that contains our Solar System. The descriptive milky is derived from the appearance from Earth of the galaxy – a band of light seen in the night sky formed from stars that cannot be individually distinguished by the naked eye. The term Milky Way is a translation of the Latin via lactea, from the Greek ?a?a??a? ?????? (galaxias k_klos, milky circle). From Earth, the Milky Way appears as a band because its disk-shaped structure is viewed from within. Galileo Galilei first resolved the band of light into individual stars with his telescope in 1610. Until the early 1920s, most astronomers thought that the Milky Way contained all the stars in the Universe.

If you missed the Perseid meteor shower in 2017 due to the bright full moon or other matters, you’re in luck. You can get another chance to see it this year. The Perseid meteor shower will be highly visible on Saturday, August 11, and Sunday, August 12, when it will reach its peak.

Dr. Jacqueline Faherty, an astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History, spoke to TIME magazine and said, “The Perseids are perhaps the most popular meteor shower because they’re a summer watching event when people are often more relaxed, kids don’t have to be up early for school, and the weather is so much more accommodating than in the colder fall or winter months.”

The 2018 Perseid meteor shower is expected to be the best meteor shower this year because it the nearly new moon will not interfere with the view. Of course, bad weather could ruin the experience.

The best time to view this year’s Perseid meteor shower are the nights of August 12-13. Meteors will start appearing around 9:30 p.m. local time, but the best time to see them is around 3-5 a.m. It is expected that stargazers will be able to see 60-70 meteors per hour during the two nights. For the best view, go somewhere with a clear night sky, without artificial light or buildings obscuring the view, and then just be patient and wait for the show to start. If you don’t want to leave the comfort of your home, watch it on YouTube beginning at 4:30 p.m. EST on August 12, broadcasting via the Virtual Telescope Project from Castel Santa Maria, Italy.

— Blair Halliday