ITHACA, NY – Okay, so technically, you can watch it for anywhere, but we would be remiss if we didn’t remind our fellow Tompkins residents about the Perseid meteor shower, which hits its peak tonight.

Not only is the yearly meteor shower at its peak tonight, but this year is also an “outburst” year — a once-in-a-decade or so event where the meteor shower is particularly intense. The last one happened in 2009, and the next one is estimated for 2027 or 2028.

Normally, you’d expect to see about one meteor per minute, head of NASA’s Meteroid Environment Office Bill Cooke told the LA Times. This year, however, NASA is predicting between 160 and 200 per hour.

For best results, NASA provided the following tips:

  • Go outside between midnight and dawn
  • Find a location that is low on light
  • Give your eyes 45 minutes to adjust to the darkness
  • Lie on your back and look straight up

Check out NASA’s website if you want to learn more about the science behind the shower. A live broadcast of the Perseid meteor shower will be available via Ustream overnight on Aug. 11-12 and Aug. 12-13, beginning at 10 p.m. EDT.

Michael Smith

Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.