The best meteor shower of the year happens this week.
As we take meteor showers all year round, this is the one with the most shooting stars.
Get out on Tuesday night if you can because this is the night when meteors will fly further across the sky more often. Expect to see a circle every ten minutes on Tuesday as long as you are in a dark (no light) area.
Now, you can still go out every night this week, but shooting stars will happen less often. So you just have to wait longer to see one.
The best time to get out is 11:00 PM This is when the sky will be in its darkness. At midnight, the crescent moon rises, adding light to the sky. The darker the night sky, the better you can see the meteor shower.
You can thank Comet Swift-Tuttle for showing off the light. As it passes through the Earth each year, some of its debris falls to Earth. Those pieces of rock burn as they fall through our air. The reason this happens is the same reason why your hands get warm when you rub them for a minute. Friction creates heat. Get enough friction and you can get enough heat to cause something to ignite. This is also why rubbing two wires together can lead to a fire.
So as those pieces of rock hide against our air as they fall, they heat up enough to burn, giving us a beautiful display of light.
A comet, by the way, is just a rock.
An asteroid is also a rock, but it is a large one. A comet is a much smaller rock by comparison. They often have rocks and debris behind them as they travel, causing the tail you see in the comet photos. The tail is also there because it is essentially a cloud. When you look during the day and see a large white cloud, you are seeing an area with small pieces of ice very easy to fall. So, the tail of a comet has pieces of ice, along with rock fragments, to give it the appearance of a cloud.
Happy looking and if you go outside, look south to see Jupiter and Saturn shining brightly. They are actually in their lighting at 9 a.m., which is an hour after sunset.