Perseid meteor shower August 10, 11, 12: Meteors to begin gracing moonless sky tonight, this weekend

Conditions should be just about heavenly for viewing this weekend's Perseid meteor shower, typically one of the year's most spectacular arrays of shooting stars.

First there's the timing: Saturday night into early Sunday morning. That means kids can stay up late for a little stargazing in the name of science. Just tell 'em how the meteors are wee grains of dust that appear when Earth passes through the tail of comet Swift-Tuttle. And they're traveling at an astounding 130,000 mph.

Then there's the moon, or lack thereof. The moon, a waning crescent, won't rise until about 3 a.m. Sunday, leaving the sky unobscured.

Simplicity, too, is a plus. Forget telescopes or planetarium shows. Your naked eyes and a lawn chair in your backyard are all you'll need.

Of course, city lights could crowd out the peak parade of 50 to 60 meteors an hour, but even if you don't trek to the Everglades, you should still be able to view a decent sample.

One caveat: Though there's only a 30 percent chance of rain, forecasters say wandering clouds may partly veil the firmament. So let's hope the heavens cooperate.

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