Perseid Meteor Shower 2019: When, Where & How to See It

By Sarah Lewin.

The bright Perseids are perhaps the most popular meteor shower of the year, but in 2019 they’ll be washed out by a close-to-full moon during their peak.

Spectators can expect to see just 10-15 Perseids per hour or maybe slightly more on the peak, which is the night of Aug. 12-13, according to NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke. Years without moonlight see much higher rates, and in outburst years (such as in 2016) the rate can be between 150-200 meteors an hour.

“Unfortunately, the moon will be very close to full on the night of the peak, which will wash out the fainter Perseids,” Cooke told “The Perseids are rich in fireballs, so you’ll still see Perseids; you just won’t see the show you’ve seen on nights when the moon has not been around.”

“It won’t be a total wash-out, because the Perseids are rich in bright meteors, but the moonlight is going to spoil most of the show,” he added.

To best see the Perseids, go to the darkest possible location and lean back to observe as much sky as possible directly above you. The rates of Perseids visible will increase from about 10 p.m. in your local time zone all the way through dawn, so the later you can look the better. Earlier in the night there will be fewer meteors, but the ones that appear will have longer tails as they graze along more of the atmosphere. Those in southern latitudes can look toward the northeast to see more meteors.