“Sadly, this year’s peak of the Perseid meteor shower will be a huge hit for observers,” said NASA astronomer Bill Cooke, director of the Meteoroid Environment Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. It’s the worst case scenario. Normally, most people in North America can see 50-60 meteors per hour, but this year due to the full moon, the peak is only 10-20 at most.”
Because the moon is so much brighter than anything else in the night sky, as they pass through our atmosphere and burn up far overhead, it washes out everything but the brightest Perseus. As the full moon recedes, the Perseid meteor shower will begin to weaken around August 21-22 and come to a complete halt on September 1. They are the remains of Comet Swift-Tuttle, a hulking “snowball” of ice, rock and dust that orbits our sun every 133 years. The comet itself was last visible to us in 1992, and won’t pass us again for over 100 years: until 2125.