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A perseid meteor in 2019. Photo: Bob Riha Jr./Getty Images

The Perseid meteor shower — one of the best cosmic shows of the year — hits its peak this week, and interested observers with dark skies around the world should be able to see it.

The state of play: The peak of the shower is expected to occur late tonight and into the wee hours of Wednesday morning. The best time to catch sight of some streaking meteors is right after the Sun sets until the Moon rises just after local midnight, according to Sky & Telescope.

  • "These 'shooting stars' can appear anywhere and everywhere in the sky — you don't have to look at the radiant to see them," Diana Hannikainen, Sky & Telescope's observing editor, said in a statement. "So the best direction to watch is wherever your sky is darkest, usually straight up."
  • The best place to see the shower is as far from city lights as possible, with a clear view of the sky. Be sure to give yourself at least 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark, and don't ruin your night vision by looking at your phone.

Context: The Perseid Meteor Shower happens each year as Earth passes through the dust left behind by Comet Swift-Tuttle as it orbits the Sun every 133 years.

Go deeper

Aug 12, 2020 - Podcasts

The Biden-Harris chemistry test

Last night, Joe Biden made the most important decision in his campaign with a historic pick of Sen. Kamala Harris as his vice-presidential candidate.

But it’s the next 48 hours that are truly crucial for the campaign to prove they have the chemistry to win the presidency.

  • Plus, how the coronavirus has pulled the plug on college sports.
  • And, where to look for the best meteor shower of the year.

Guests: Axios' Hans Nichols and Jeff Tracy

Credits: "Axios Today" is produced in partnership with Pushkin Industries. The team includes Niala Boodhoo, Sara Kehaulani Goo, Carol Alderman, Cara Shillenn, Nuria Marquez Martinez, Naomi Shavin and Alex Sugiura. Music is composed by Evan Viola. You can reach us at podcasts@axios.com.

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13 mins ago - Podcasts

How hospitals are prepping for the new COVID-19 surge

Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are surging, particularly in areas that had been largely spared this spring. One big question now is whether hospitals are better prepared for this new wave, including if they'll be able to continue providing elective services.

Axios Re:Cap digs into what hospitals have, and what they still need, with Lloyd Dean, CEO of CommonSpirit Health, one of America's largest operators of hospitals and health clinics.

Updated 22 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: The good and bad news about antibody therapies — U.S. sets new single-day case record.
  2. Politics: States beg for Warp Speed billions.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local cases.
  4. Education: Surge threatens to shut classrooms down again.
  5. Technology: The pandemic isn't slowing tech.
  6. Travel: CDC replaces COVID-19 cruise ban with less restrictive "conditional sailing order."
  7. Sports: High school football's pandemic struggles.
  8. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.