Cloudy sky got you down? Don’t worry, you can watch the Perseid meteor shower online!
Each year, the Perseid meteor shower impresses with a high rate of visible meteors — but 2016 is supposed to be something special. Tonight’s Perseids are set to be the most spectacular in the last 20 years.
That’s due to the unusually close proximity of the Swift-Tuttle comet. When Earth passes through the comet’s wake, thousands of tiny objects will impact our atmosphere to create a brilliant light show.
If you’re having trouble seeing tonight’s shower, because of weather or maybe you just don’t feel like going outside, never fear. The fine folks at Slooh.com are doing a live stream with interactive chat, photos and video from observatories around the world.
I’ve embedded the YouTube video feed above, check it out.
In a normal year, the peak of the shower might yield 100 meteors per hour, but this year observers could be treated to twice that number.
Astronomy magazine offers these tips for viewing the meteors if you are able to venture outside tonight:
You’ll see more meteors at a viewing site far from any artificial lights. Look about two-thirds of the way from the horizon to the zenith, but don’t get tunnel vision gazing at one location. Let your eyes wander so your peripheral vision can pick up meteors you otherwise might not see. Keep comfortable by reclining in a lawn chair or lying on an air mattress.
The shower is expected to be strongest in the pre-dawn hours on Friday, August 12.
NASA is also doing some extensive Perseid meteor shower coverage, which you can catch on their NASA TV U-STREAM channel.