Perseid meteor shower: how to see shooting stars this weekend

Perseids 2018 NASA

Perseids 2018 NASA's telescopes snapped this

The Perseids, one of the best meteor showers of the year, will peak this weekend, and depending where you are the viewing conditions could be great.

"This year we'll be lucky the moon won't be shining most of the night, it will be a very thin crescent so it should be quite dark".

The shooting stars will look like streaks of light across the sky.

Perseids 2018 NASA
Perseids 2018 This composite image shows dozens of meteors at once

Active Junky, which is also the sister site of Space.com, has provided a list of the nation's top cities, and the best places they can go to watch the meteor show. The best time to view the meteor shower is between 1AM and 3AM. That means the meteors' fireballs and tails should look spectacular on a practically moonless night.

The comet Swift-Tuttle is the largest object that repeatedly passes earth. The August shower gets its name from the constellation Perseus because the meteors appear to originate there.

If you're planning on watching the Perseid meteor shower, bear in mind that it will take at least 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the darkness. This shower is widely regarded as the most breathtaking shower in the Northern Hemisphere, producing 50 or more meteors per hour every year. Overall, the best chance to see the meteors will be during their peak, Sunday night into Monday, when we could also see a break in the clouds.


This happens because all meteors associated with the Perseid shower radiate from one point in the sky, known as the radiant. The ice and dust, accumulating over a thousand years, burn up in our atmosphere to create the meteor shower.

The annual Perseid meteor shower is back, with the peak night for the shooting stars falling on Sunday, August 12th, and into the early hours of Monday. As these particles move in their elliptical path, Earth can pass through that path, meaning that both the Earth and these particles will collide. The Perseids takes place every year between July 17 and August 24. This weekend's peak is the optimum time to view the shower with the most frequent meteors.

The good news is you will be able to see them with the naked eye. For the best viewing, make sure you get away from city lights.


All you'll really need to do is crane your head upwards.


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