Late-summer meteor showers: When to see shooting stars in the coming week

Every year, the summer season provides some of possibility to witness shooting stars and even fireballs, as two meteor showers merge to adorn our sky - the Delta Aquariids and the Perseids.

The Delta Aquariids fly roughly from July 18 to August 21, reaching a maximum rate of 20 meteors per hour during their nightly peak around 2 a.m.

Because meteor shower is fainter than the Perseids and prefers dark evenings and viewing sites south USA, it will help boost the odds of witnessing meteors on peak nights in late July & early August.

Peaking a few weeks after the Delta Aquariids, the beloved and well-known Perseid meteor shower is lighting up our skies now through September 1. 

While the Perseid peak is technically August 11-13, those dates coincide with a full moon this year, meaning some of the meteor shower’s brilliance will be obscured by moonglow over those nights.

For that reason, it’s recommended that the best time to watch the Perseids is a few weeks before the actual peak: from late evening to dawn in early August, when the moon is absent or just a sliver.

In years with perfect viewing conditions — namely, a truly dark and cloudless sky with no moon — Perseids watchers can report 90 or more meteors per hour.

While that might not be the case this year, you’ll no doubt still see some magic if you set aside the time to gaze skyward on these remaining summer nights.