This year, the Perseid shower is expected to be at or near its peak this weekend but don't wait until then; meteors are often spotted several days before that.
While the Perseids are active between July 14 and August 24, the best time to see the shower starts August 11, thanks to the new moon that day. The only concern for viewing is wildfire smoke is likely to stay parked over Montana through next week.
If you're planning to catch the shower, you should begin looking for meteors Saturday night about 9 p.m. and through the evening.
"This year, experts are predicting a maximum 150 to 200 meteors per hour during the Perseid shower, with most observers seeing 60 to 70 meteors", he said.
Why does this occur every summer?
According to NASA, if a meteoroid comes close enough to Earth and enters the Earth's atmosphere, it vaporizes and turns into a meteor.
The Perseid meteor shower will be particularly noticeable this year. Note that the rates listed below are for ideal conditions: very dark skies free of moonlight or light pollution. As a bonus, Mars and Saturn should also be easily viewable.
EarthSky also says that it is important to know that all meteors come from a single point in the sky. "So, you're going to see a streak, and hopefully a colored streak but, they aren't always very colorful", says Vicki Funke, manager of Weiskopf Observatory.
Blake said that on any given night, three or four meteors hit the atmosphere per hour.
Here are 5 facts to know about what to expect and where in IL the meteor show can be seen. He added that it takes at least 30 minutes for human eyes to adjust, so be patient and that you can expect to be outdoors for a few hours.
Between midnight and 5 a.m. on August 11 and 12.