If you want to take in the full beauty of one of natures's most spectacular night sky light shows, stay up late this Friday.

The Perseid meteor shower is already in progress, as you may have noticed if you've looked up at the night sky recently. But experts say it will reach its peak in our area from 11 PM Friday, August 12, to 4 AM Saturday, August 13.

This year's shower is particularly special because of a gravitational boost from Jupiter, which will nudge debris from the Swift-Tuttle comet thousands of miles closer to earth, resulting in brighter shooting stars.

If you can't wait until Friday night, just step outside before dawn any morning from now until August 24.

For the best viewing experience, you'll obviously want to be far away from light pollution. Look to the northeast portion of the sky near the constellation Perseus.

This year's peak coincides with a waxing gibbous moon, which will cause some light interference. However, that gravitational boost from Jupiter should make the shower appear much brighter than usual, which may help offset the moon's effect. It is not recommended that you use binoculars or a telescope, as they'll limit your field of view and your potential for spotting objects.

The Perseid meteor shower is the result of small pieces of debris from the Swfit-Tuttle comment disintegrating in flashes of light as they hit Earth's atmosphere. They're called Perseids because they appear to originate from the constellation Perseus, but they're actually small particles that detach from Swift-Tuttle as it makes its 130-year-long trips around our sun.