In 2013 photo, a meteor streaks past the faint band of the Milky Way galaxy near Cheyenne, Wyo. (AP Photo/The Wyoming Tribune Eagle, Blaine McCartney)

The Perseid meteor shower, normally the most dazzling of the year, could be muted by the nearly full moon this week but will peak with pizzazz nonetheless.

“The waxing gibbous Moon may make a mess of this year’s Perseids, but I’ll still be out there,” writes Sky and Telescope columnist Bob King. “Even a full Moon can’t kill the year’s most anticipated meteor shower. Reduce the numbers, yes, but you’re guaranteed to see at least a few.”

Whether we see them or not, the fragments of Comet Swift-Tuttle — jointly discovered in 1862 by astronomers Lewis Swift and Horace Tuttle — will peak in their intersection with Earth’s orbital path overnight Monday into Tuesday.

Under ideal viewing conditions this shower yields dozens of shooting stars per hour. However, with a waxing gibbous moon dominating the sky for most of the night, the viewing during the actual peak will be less than ideal.

“Although the brighter Perseids will overcome the moonlight, there’s nothing like a dark sky for meteor watching,” notes “In dark skies — no moon and no city lights — the Perseids have been known to usher in 50 to 60 meteors per hour, or more, at their peak.”

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Nonetheless, a few pockets of time could afford a decent number of make-a-wish opportunities, astronomers say. For one, viewing them before the actual peak could work, since this particular shower lights up the sky for days before and after the peak.

“The shower will be moderately active on the mornings of the 11th and 12th,” writes King.

For another, the moon will set a few hours before dawn on the night of the peak, so getting up at about 3:30 or 4 a.m. Tuesday morning could also work.

“The most meteors are most likely to fall in the predawn hours on August 13, yet under the light of a bright waxing gibbous moon,” sums up. “The mornings of August 11 and 12 are surely worth trying, too, especially as there will be more moon-free viewing time on these mornings — a larger window between moonset and dawn.”

Either way, the origin point, known as the radiant, will be in the northeastern sky by 11 p.m., King says. They are called the Perseids because they appear to emanate from the constellation Perseus, but they are visible throughout the sky.

“Perseids are rich in bright meteors and fireballs, so it will still be worth going out in the early morning to catch some of nature’s fireworks,” says NASA.

The best viewing will be overnight Sunday into Monday and then again Monday into Tuesday, the space agency says. On both nights the shower is best seen between 2 a.m. and dawn, local time. Viewing overnight Sunday will give you less moonlight but fewer actual meteors. In terms of viewing, Monday’s overnight will yield more meteors, but they’ll be competing against more moonlight, NASA says.

The Perseids are known for rapidly streaking across the sky, sometimes erupting in fireballs. This means one is bound to see at least something after dark. And if weather doesn’t cooperate, the shower will be live-streamed on NASA’s Meteor Watch Facebook page starting at around 8 p.m. Sunday.

All the experts concur: Do not be deterred by the overabundance of moonlight.

“It’s still worth going out to look at the Perseids,” NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke told NBC News. “It just won’t be as good because of the moonlight.”

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