"This year is going to be good because there's a new moon, so on Thursday, there will be just a thin crescent moon, and it will set shortly after sunset," Berendsen said. "That means all night, we will have dark skies, and the weather is supposed to be clear, which should make it real nice for viewing."
Meteors are pieces of comets, which are dirty snowballs in space made up of frozen ice and rock-like particles, Berendsen said. The particles that become the meteors in the Perseid showers come from the Swift/Tuttle comet discovered in the 1860s.
"Most of the meteors are about the size of a grain of sand or a thumb, but they are traveling 20,000 mph and there is enough atmosphere up there that they run into atoms and molecules," he said. "So, even if they're just the size of a grain of sand, they give off a fair amount of light when they vaporize."