The Perseids have arrived. Widely recognized as the largest and most dependable meteor display of the year for the Northern hemisphere, the first reports of Perseid meteors starting popping up early this morning, but activity is expected to increase in the days ahead, peaking in the (very) early morning hours of August 12.
Unlike last year's Perseids, which had to compete with the glare of a full Moon, this year's display arrives while the Moon is a waning crescent, which should make for much better sky-gazing. Here's everything you need to know to witness as many meteors as possible.
Avoid light like the plague
Mike Brown, the man who killed Pluto, likes to say that the Moon is his nemesis, because it washes out his view of the celestial bodies in the night sky. And while you may not agree with Pluto's demotion, you'd be wise to take Brown's experience to heart; when you're looking for meteors, the Moon is your enemy — even when that Moon is a waning crescent.
But city lights, street lights, house lights, flashlights, any lights can be just as bad. You've already got the moon and your surroundings giving off tons of it, so don't blow it by checking your indiglo watch out of habit and for god's sake don't look at your phone.