Perseid meteor show to light up sky Friday night, early Saturday

Tuesday , August 08, 2017 - 9:47 PM

SARAH WELLIVER/Standard-Examiner

A meteor shoots across a starry sky at North Fork Park on Aug. 12, 2016.

JESSICA KOKESH, Standard-Examiner Staff

The solar eclipse isn’t the only exciting astronomical event happening in August. 

Shooting stars will blaze through the night sky Friday, Aug. 11, as the Perseid meteor shower reaches its peak, according to NASA. The meteor shower occurs each year during August as the Earth passes through the debris trail left by Comet Swift-Tuttle. 

Peak viewing time with be Friday evening, though Astronomy.com recommends watching into the wee hours of the morning of Saturday, Aug. 12. 

RELATED: Antelope Island named a Dark Sky Park

Meteors will fall at a rate of 150 an hour, according to NASA scientist Bill Cooke, but the light from a three-quarters moon will block many of them from sight. The moon will rise just before midnight local time. 

Friday’s forecast from the National Weather Service currently calls for partly cloudy conditions in Northern Utah

The best way to experience the celestial show is to get away from light pollution — and Northern Utah now has two dark sky parks for people to visit. 

In April, Antelope Island was named an International Dark Sky Park — a place where light pollution is so minimal that visitors have a much easier time appreciating the wonders of the night sky.

Antelope Island is open until 10 p.m.; entrance fee is $10. Camping fees range from $15 to $30. 

North Fork Park was also named a Dark Sky Park in 2015. The park is located at 4150 E. 5950 North in Liberty.