Can't sleep? Get up and watch the Perseid meteor shower this week

Conditions should be good for seeing the show in the skies over Western Washington this week.
Meteor in the night sky
Photo credit VitaliyPozdeyev / iStock / Getty Images Plus

If you can't sleep because you're hot and sweaty in the middle of the night, don't fight it -- get up out of bed, head into the back yard, and look up. Because it's prime viewing time for the Perseid meteor shower.

They show up in the summer skies every August, and this time they coincide with another Northwest heatwave, so if the high temperatures are interfering with your sleep, make the best of it.

The Seattle Times runs down all the details, including the best time to view the show, with information from NASA:
The meteors will start to streak in mid- to late evening in the Northern Hemisphere and by dawn, they’ll be “raining down from overhead. . . . ” People in the Seattle area should be able to see the highest number of meteors per hour around 3:30 to 4:30 a.m. Country dwellers will have far more luck than those living in cities or suburbs, who will likely see fewer than 10 an hour.

The experts say you should give your eyes about an hour outdoors to adjust to the darkness before you start spotting meteors, but if skies are clear and you look to the north, you should see at least a few.

Here's the full story in the Seattle Times, including a handy graphic with some suggestions for good viewing spots around the Sound if you want to get ambitious and actually drive somewhere for a better vantage point than your own yard. In Seattle, Alki Beach and Magnuson Park should offer a good look at the skies, or there's Rattlesnake Lake, the Ira Spring trailhead, or Tiger Mountain.

Or just drag a lawn chair into your yard, turn off all the lights, pop open a cold one, and look up. It beats tossing and turning in a hot bedroom!