CHICAGO (CBS)–The Perseid meteor shower of 2018 is almost upon us. The display of meteors will light up the sky between August 11 and 13.
Although the spectacle is considered the best display of meteors of the year in some parts of the country, it turns out Chicago is not the best place to catch glimpses of glittering showers of space matter.
That’s according to Michelle Nichols, director of public observing for the Adler Planetarium.
Meteor enthusiasts in Chicago have two factors working against them: the bright city lights and the moon, which will be shining in its crescent form this weekend when the meteor shower passes by.
“People often ask when we can see it in the city, and to be honest you may not see it at all,” Nichols said. “Light pollution affects what you can see.”
Nichols says to drive about 60 to 70 miles outside of the city for the best chance of seeing the Perseid Meteor.
According to Space.com, during peak hours people should see about 60-70 meteors per hour.
Here are 5 facts to know about the Perseid meteor 2018.
1.) What is the Perseid Meteor? Nichols describes it as an annual phenomenon when earth runs into the trail of debris left by a comet.
2.) What time can the meteor be seen? Between midnight and 5 a.m. on Aug. 11 and 12.
3.) What areas near Chicagoland would make good viewing spots? The Indiana Dunes, Starved Rock National park and Lake Geneva are all remote enough for good viewing conditions. The Illinois State Museum-Dickson Mounds in downstate Lewistown, Ill. is hosting a family-friendly viewing party.
4.) Where in the sky will the meteor be seen? Nichols suggests viewers look to the east while lying down on a lawn chair to avoid strain on the neck. “If you were to draw the lines of the meteors and connect them back to where they started, they all seem to radiate from the constellation Perseus,” she said.
5.) How long should you wait to see the lights before calling it a night? If you’re in the city, be prepared to wait a long time–if not indefinitely. In rural areas, the showers should be visible within a few minutes.