The most popular meteor shower of the year peaks tonight. Usually we can see 100 meteors per hour during the Perseid meteor shower. This year is a little different due to the full, and super, moon. So the next few nights we may only see around 50 meteors or less an hour.
We expect a lot of clouds around eastern and southeastern New England for much of the night as a weak low passes southeast. Tomorrow night we will clear out late. Sunday night looks partly cloudy, so both of our weekend nights may give you better luck around eastern New England and in Boston. Meanwhile in northern and western New England, we will have mostly clear skies, low humidity and cool temps.
It's a perfect recipe for stargazers since there are minimal particles in the atmosphere to obstruct your view. If you don’t catch the shower tonight or this weekend, keep an eye out since meteors will still be around for next week.
This Perseid meteor shower occurs every year at this time as Earth passes through a comet’s orbit. This one is the Comet Swift-Tuttle and it’s made of rock and ice. The small particles in the tail hold in the orbit and as the earth passes through the dusty orbit path, the particles burn up in the atmosphere rapidly, creating the "shooting stars" or meteors. Rarely are these particles large enough to actually make it through and hit the ground. But if one does, it’s called a meteorite. Happy stargazing!