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When to look for the highly anticipated Perseid meteor shower

Jason Weingart captures meteors of the Perseid Meteor Shower as they dart across the night sky, on Aug. 14, 2016, in Terlingua, Texas. (Jason Weingart/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — August provides one of the best skywatching events every year. The annual Perseid meteor shower is peaking this weekend.

According to NASA, anyone in the U.S. can have reasonable expectations to see around 40 meteors an hour in the early morning hours away from city lights. However, there have been years where skywatchers have seen many more meteors per hour.

The actual peak of the meteor shower will be this Saturday night. Thankfully, this year a waning crescent moon will allow for fainter meteors to be seen.

For the Perseid meteor shower, you will not have to look in any specific direction. The radiant point for the shower will be in the northeast sky near the constellation Perseus. If you trace all the meteors backward, they appear to come from this area.

The best viewing of this meteor shower is typically from midnight to daybreak. On Aug. 13, daybreak is at 6:54 a.m. in Indianapolis. Try to get away from city lights if you are going out to look at the meteors and give your eyes time to adjust to the darkness.

At the end of July, two meteor showers peaked in our night skies. Unfortunately, a full moon really obscured a lot of these meteors from being seen despite clear skies across central Indiana. Therefore, this meteor shower is expected to be a lot better without the presence of the full moon.

Did you know?

Interestingly enough, the Perseid meteor shower is the only meteor shower to ever delay Space Shuttle Launch. This happened in 1993. Back then, the STS-51 launch was delayed with concerns that the spacecraft in Earth’s orbit could encounter debris from the meteor shower.

Cloud cover is always a big factor in whether or not you can see the meteors in central Indiana. To find the latest 8-DAY forecast check out our weather blog by clicking here.