If you ask most skygazers to name their favorite meteor shower, the odds are good that “Perseid” will be the first word out of their mouths. This annual shower seemingly has it all: It offers a consistently high rate of meteors year after year; it produces a higher percentage of bright ones than most other showers; it occurs in August when many people take summer vacation; and it happens at a time when nice weather and reasonable nighttime temperatures are common. No other major shower can boast all four of these attributes.
And 2015 promises one more significant advantage: The shower peaks on the night of August 12/13, just one day before New Moon. With the Moon absent from the sky, observers under clear, dark skies can expect to see up to 100 “shooting stars” per hour, the maximum rate possible. Conditions haven’t been this good since 2010.