The Perseid meteor shower, considered by stargazers to be the best of the summer, is set to peak this week.
Given the dearth of activities to do at home, there’s no better time to prepare for the meteor shower – which is known for its bright, long-lasting rays of light and dazzling "fireballs," which are large bursts that last longer than meteors, according to NASA.
The meteor shower is active from July 14 to August 24, but it will most likely peak on August 11 and 12. If the weather is good, that's the best time to try to view it.
NASA says this year the moon will remain above the horizon during prime viewing hours, making it hard to get an optimal a view.
Fair warning: Meteor showers are unpredictable and fickle, but on a clear night under the right conditions, you can expect to see anywhere from 15 to 20 meteors per hour.
The Perseid meteors are small specks of ice and dust that come from the tail of Comet Swift-Tuttle and are named after the constellation Perseus, where they appear to come from. The meteor shower occurs when Earth collides with tiny dust and particles from the tail of the comet.
How can I watch the Perseid shower?
All you need is a clear view of the night sky.
According to NASA, the best time to view will be from around 2 a.m. local time on August 12 until dawn. Focus on the northeast part of the sky, lay down on a lawn chair or blanket and enjoy the stunning sights.
If those hours are daunting, it may be worthwhile to set up a few hours earlier in the evening. While not peak hours, a few stray shooting stars may be visible.
The viewing experience is less ideal in cities due to interference from light pollution, so if possible, make your way out to the countryside.
You can also watch indoors from the comfort of your laptop screen. NASA offers a livestream that will be available from 9 p.m. EDT on August 11 until sunrise the next day.
Contributing: Doyle Rice, USA TODAY; Dean Regas, Cincinnati Enquirer.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: How to watch Perseids meteor shower on August 11, 12, 2020