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Perseid meteor shower of 2021, likely the best of the year, is peaking now!

A 30-second exposure view of the 2021 Perseids from Spruce Knob, West Virginia, taken on Aug. 11, 2021..
A 30-second exposure view of the 2021 Perseids from Spruce Knob, West Virginia, taken on Aug. 11, 2021.. (Image credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

The stunning Perseid meteor shower will peak tonight (Aug. 11) in what could well be the most brilliant "shooting star" display of the year.

The Perseids are often one of the strongest meteor showers, and this year, the display will be particularly easy to observe, as the moon is just a few days past its new phase, keeping tonight's sky quite dark.

Amazing Pics: Stunning Perseid meteor shower 2021 photos by stargazers

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In this 30 second exposure, a meteor streaks across the sky during the annual Perseid meteor shower, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021, in Spruce Knob, West Virginia.

(Image credit: Bill Ingalls/NASA)

If you take a cool photo of the 2021 Perseid meteor shower let us know! You can send images and comments to spacephotos@space.com.

Skywatchers began catching early Perseids in late July, and the meteor shower will continue until Aug. 18, but the peak of this meteor shower is well worth catching. Forecasts from Space.com and Sky & Telescope suggest that skywatchers who get themselves someplace dark enough could catch dozens of shooting stars each hour — perhaps one a minute — during the shower's peak, which continues into Thursday morning.

Read more: Perseid meteor shower 2021: When, where & how to see it

For a meteor-watching excursion, you'll want to consider bringing a lounge chair, sleeping bag or both to avoid straining your neck while you skywatch. Pack layers, snacks and perhaps a hot beverage since it can get chilly at night, and be sure to give your eyes plenty of time to adjust to the dark. Skywatching columnist Joe Rao has more tips for a successful Perseids quest in his full guide to this year's shower.

If you can't get away from city lights or poor weather blots out the show, don't worry: the Perseids are also coming to a livestream near you.

Editor's note: If you snap an amazing photo or video of 2020 Perseid meteor shower and would like to share it with Space.com for a possible story or gallery, send images and comments to spacephotos@space.com

Email Meghan Bartels at mbartels@space.com or follow her on Twitter @meghanbartels. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook. 

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Meghan Bartels

Meghan is a senior writer at Space.com and has more than five years' experience as a science journalist based in New York City. She joined Space.com in July 2018, with previous writing published in outlets including Newsweek and Audubon. Meghan earned an MA in science journalism from New York University and a BA in classics from Georgetown University, and in her free time she enjoys reading and visiting museums. Follow her on Twitter at @meghanbartels.