The annual Perseid meteor shower is peaking this very minute but you couldn’t see anything on Capitol Hill last night and you won’t be able to see anything tonight. Seattle will be buried underneath a layer of 90% cloud cover.
But here’s the good news. Nature doesn’t run on a clock. The Perseids have been shooting across your sky for weeks and they’ll be shooting across your sky for a few weeks more. Chances are good you’ll be able to see a shooting star or three on the Hill Friday night as the cloud cover is forecast to drop to around 60% and a relatively crystal clear 40% on Saturday.
Also in your favor, the moon is retreating toward a thin crescent and won’t rise until around midnight so the skies should be as dark as city skies get around 10:30 PM.
So that’s the when. As for the where, here’s a handy infographic from NASA showing a view to the northeast. That’s what you’ll want to find to get the best view of the action. Not sure where you’ll find the barn and the windmill around here but keep looking.
For your Cap Hill viewing location, think of relatively open spaces with a northeast view. Also think of dark places so bring a friend! Some places to consider: Louisa Boren Park overlooking Lake Washington and Volunteer Park.
The best places to view, of course, are far from the city. So think of things in a different frame of reference. This will be an urban meteor shower. There’s a good chance that things on the ground will be more interesting than what’s in the sky.