What you need to know about the Perseid meteor shower

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The Perseid meteor shower is happening over the weekend, and at its peak viewers should be able to see 60-70 meteors per hour.

NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke calls the Perseids the most popular meteor shower of the year. According to Space.com, this year's peak will be visible both the nights of Aug. 11-12 and Aug. 12-13. Cooke said he's included to lean toward the second night, Sunday going into Monday for the peak viewing.

"This year the moon will be near new moon, it will be a crescent, which means it will set before the Perseid show gets underway after midnight," Cooke told Space.com. "The moon is very favorable for the Perseids this year, and that'll make the Perseids probably the best shower of 2018 for people who want to go out and view it."

A number of planets will also be highly visible. Mars, until 4 a.m.; Saturn, until 2 a.m.; and Venus and Jupiter will be visible before the shower between 9:30-11 p.m.

Space.com recommends finding the darkest location possible to watch the shower, and lean back to watch the sky directly above you. Around 10 p.m., the meteors' visibility should begin to increase. Look north to see more meteors.