This is the weekend of the peak of the annual Perseid meteor shower and most meteor forecasts predict the annual “shooting star” display will be at its best during the overnight hours of late Saturday (Aug. 11) into the early Sunday.
The Perseids is the name of a prolific meteor shower. The shower is visible from mid-July each year, with the peak in activity being between August 9 and 14, depending on the particular location of the stream. During the peak, the rate of meteors reaches 60 or more per hour.
The weekend of August 11/12 will be prime viewing time for the Perseids. One can view on earlier dates but the rates will be less and the moon more of a problem. On Saturday morning, August 11th, the 35% illuminated moon will rise near 0100 local daylight time (LDT) for observers located in the mid-northern latitudes. The moon will be located in central Taurus, mid-way between the bright orange star Aldebaran and the naked eye star cluster known as the Pleiades. This position lies only 30 degrees from the Perseid radiant, which lies in the northern portion of the constellation Perseus. The radiant is the area of the sky these meteors appear to shoot from. You should center your view more to the north or in the opposite direction to avoid seeing moonlight, which will impair your night vision. Perseid meteors will be visible as soon as it becomes dark on Friday evening, but at only rates of 5 per hour. This is due to the fact that the Perseid radiant lies low in the north at this time and only a small percentage of the activity can be seen.
I hope that you are able to watch and enjoy this marvelous heavenly show!