MISSOULA — The annual Perseid meteor shower is one of the most beloved meteor showers of the year, especially in the Northern Hemisphere. The greatest number of meteors is expected during the early morning hours of August 11, 12 and 13 where 40-50 meteors an hour will be possible. Unfortunately moonlight will somewhat drown out this years peak production, however, there are some ways you can minimize the moon and optimize your chances for a good display!
1) Perseids tend to be bright and a good percentage of them should be able to overcome the moonlight.
2) On each of the three peak mornings the moon will rise after midnight, so even though the meteors won't be at their peak yet, watching before midnight will give clear, dark skies.
3) On each of the three peak mornings there will be less and less moonlight, meaning darker skies will last further into the early morning hours.
4) If you are watching in the moonlight, place yourself in the moons shadow. Putting a large structure such as a barn, cabin or mountain between you and the moon will allow you to see more meteors.
5) Keep watching even after peak. Perseid meteors have been streaking across our skies since around July 17 and will continue for roughly 10 days after peak watching times. Starting August 17 clear, dark and moon free nights will be seen all night!