The Perseids -- the stargazing event of the summer and perhaps the year -- peak Wednesday. The annual meteor shower always puts on a good show, with anywhere from 60 to 100 meteors per hour, and it's relatively easy to observe. Living in a major city like New York, Chicago or Los Angeles makes viewing the stars difficult due to the bright city lights, but where there's a will, there's a way. Here's our guide to viewing options, locations and tips to enjoy the Perseids.

Unlike last year's Perseid meteor shower, the moon is practically invisible during its peak. The best viewing will take place around 4 a.m. EDT Thursday, when the skies are darkest. To view the Perseids, look up and try to find the constellation Perseus, the shower's radiant.

But meteors can be observed throughout the sky. The American Meteor Society and Sky & Telescope have good sky maps to help observers locate the constellations Cassiopeia and Perseus. An app like Skyview, available for Apple iOS and Google Android devices, can also guide you to these constellations.

New York City

The Big Apple won't make it easy for you to view the Perseids, but there are plenty of locations throughout the city's five boroughs. It's all about finding a dark location that's clear of buildings and trees. If you know a place in your neighborhood that fits the description, head over there around 10 p.m. EDT Wednesday to view the Perseids. Upper Manhattan's Inwood Hill Park hosts many astronomy events and one astronomer Jason Shilling Kendall prefers it. Kendall has a great map showing his favorite location for viewing the Perseids.

Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn is another option for those living in the outer boroughs. If you are willing to wait a day, the Amateur Astronomers Association will have an observation event at Brooklyn Bridge Park on Thursday.

Back in Manhattan, Friday's new moon will make weekend viewing of the Perseids ideal and there will be viewing events at Lincoln Center on Friday and Saturday. There's also the "Top of the Lawn" event located in Central Park from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. EDT Friday.


The Boston University Observatory has public open nights every Wednesday, but tickets are required. If the event is sold out, call the observatory to discuss possible alternatives. The Museum of Science has Astronomy After Hours from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. EDT every Friday.


The Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh will host two Perseid meteor shower events. The Wegman Observatory will be open Wednesday and Thursday for the Perseids, beginning at sunset. The Mingo Observatory viewing event begins at 9 p.m. EDT.


The Franklin Institute hosts the Night Skies in the Observatory from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. EDT Thursday. Franklin Institute Chief Astronomer Derrick Pitts will host the event, which will include lectures and Planetarium shows. Tickets are free for members and $5 for the general public.

Washington, D.C.

The Howard County Conservancy in Woodstock, Maryland, hosts a Perseids viewing event from 10 p.m. EDT Wednesday to 1 a.m. EDT Thursday. Dr. Parviz Ghavamian, from Towson University, will be on hand to discuss astronomy and the meteor shower. The National Capital Astronomers will host a stargazing event beginning at 8:30 p.m. EDT Saturday at Rock Creek Park. The Northern Virginia Astronomy Club hosts the Great Meadow Public Night at the Plains, Virginia, at 7:30 p.m. EDT Friday.

Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Astronomical Society is hosting a Perseids viewing party at Garvey Ranch Observatory from 7:30 p.m. to 10:p.m. PDT Wednesday. The Griffith Observatory is also open until 10 p.m. PDT, if you want to catch the meteor shower.


The Adler Planetarium is hosting a huge Perseid Meteor Shower Star Party at Cantigny Park in Wheaton, Illinois. The event begins at 6 p.m. CDT Wednesday. Advance tickets start at $9 for Adler Members and $12 for the general public.


The Houston Museum of Natural History hosts a Perseid Meteor Shower event from 7 p.m. CDT Wednesday to 2 a.m. CDT Thursday. Tickets cost $7.

San Antonio

The San Antonio Astronomical Association is hosting a Perseid meteor shower viewing event at McAllister Park from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. CDT Wednesday.


There will be a Perseids viewing event at Lost Dutchman State Park hosted by Steve Kates, better known as Dr. Sky. There will be food, drinks, music and plenty more. Tickets are $15.

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