Some meteor showers are spectacular, while most are mundane. If you sit around during a typical shower, you might see anywhere from 50 to 100 meteors an hour, if the Moon isn’t out.
If you take a time-lapse photograph and look for meteors, you will, sometimes, get a great view of what’s going on. Although it isn’t immediately clear what’s a meteor and what’s a passing satellite or airplane, you can tell them apart in this video by looking for the “instant” streaks, which are meteors, versus the ones that streak for many frames, which are satellites or aircrafts.
Even better? The Moon is practically new tonight.
This means that only a tiny crescent will be in the sky, and it’ll be gone by an hour or two after sunset. Which means, if you get clear skies, you’ll have ideal meteor shower conditions!
So where should you look on the sky? Near the constellation Leo; the meteors will emanate from there. (Ignore Saturn in the image below; it was there in 2006, but isn’t in 2009. The stars are still in the same place, though.)
And at its peak, we should get about 500 meteors per hour, which is huge. If you get to see it remember to thank Comet Tempel Tuttle for coming through in 1998 and leaving this beautiful debris trail for us.
All of it makes for a beautiful sight this night! So go out and enjoy it, and know that I’ll be jealous here in cloudy Portland!