Date: August 12-13 (but activity can last for ± 1 week) Time: midnight to dawn is best Place: the northeastern sky
The annual Perseid Meteor Shower is coming soon to a sky near you. The peak of activity is expected on August 12th and 13th, midnight to dawn, but you can start watching for meteors as soon as the sky gets dark. This year, unlike in 2014, the Moon will be absent from the sky. Darker sky allows fainter (and thus more) meteors to be seen. And if you’re lucky, you might even witness a bolide or fireball light up the landscape and leave a persistent glowing trail in the sky.
Bolides are fireballs that explode into multiple fragments, each of which can leave a separate trail. I’ve seen dozens of fireballs, and just a few bolides. Some reputable observers have reported an audible distant rumble following the explosion of a bolide. I’ve listened for that, but never heard any sounds. Because typical bolides explode at high altitudes (40-50 km), the sound could arrive up to 5 minutes after the explosion. So if you do see one, be quiet and be patient.
The shower is named for the constellation ...