The best meteor shower in years is happening August 11-13

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The 2015 Perseid meteor shower. The shower is caused by the Earth's atmosphere running into the comet debris left behind by the comet Swift-Tuttle, happening every August. This year it will be at its peak on the evenings of August 11 and 12.

Earth passes through the path of Swift-Tuttle's debris from July 17 to August 24, with the peak coming August 11-13.

A fireball is a very bright meteor, at least as bright as the planets Jupiter or Venus.

You might want to go to bed a little later the weekend of Aug.11 because the best meteor shower in years is about to happen. However, the meteors can appear anywhere in the sky.

It can take about 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark, and Cooke said the longer you wait, the more you'll see. NASA says that at the peak of meteor activity you could see up to 100 meteors per hour.

A major determining factor on where a good place is to watch the Perseids meteor shower is local cloud cover and artificial light pollution.

On the nights of August 12 and August 13, Cooke says stargazers all over the Northern Hemisphere should be able to see about 60 to 70 meteors streaking across the night skies - a dip from 2016, which saw more than twice as many meteors per hour, but a bump up from last year's 40 or 50, and still plenty vivid.

No special equipment is needed to enjoy this nighttime spectacle, just a dark sky and some patience.

The best viewing time over the peak should be Sunday night into Monday morning.