Every August, the Earth passes through the debris field of the comet Swift-Tuttle. The debris, made up mostly of ice and dust that has accumulated over thousands of years, creates a meteor shower when it burns through Earth’s atmosphere.
While this beautiful phenomenon occurs every year, this year is particularly special because it falls on the same weekend as the new moon!
So what does this mean? It means that because of the moonless sky we’ll experience this weekend, the Perseid meteor shower will be quite the spectacle as it lights up the exceptionally dark skies.
These ideal conditions for watching will coincide with the peak time for meteor shower viewings, when Earth passes through the richest display of showers on Sunday night at 9 p.m. According to NASA, the best time to watch is any time between 11 p.m. and the first light of morning, when the night is darkest. To see it in NYC, you’ll want to go to a place with minimal surrounding light pollution, such as rooftops or open fields like Central Park.
This year, Europe and North America will have the best views. So be sure to step out on Sunday night and catch a glimpse!