Catch The Best of This Year's Perseid Meteor Shower This Weekend

Perseid meteor activity 2013 in Ontario Canada

The Perseid meteor shower is expected to peak the night of August 12, into the wee hours of the morning on August 13.

Anyone who was disappointed by the brightness of the almost full moon obscuring the Perseid meteor shower a year ago will have a chance to turn their stargazing luck around this month. At peak time under good conditions, you can expect to see 60 to 70 meteors per hour.

The comet that left the Perseid meteor stream is a piece of dirty ice about 26km in diameter called 109P/Swift-Tuttle. These internationally recognized areas possess an exceptional quality of starry nights, making them ideal for shows like this one.

While we have several meteor showers during a year, the Perseids are even more spectacular for people in the northern hemisphere.

The meteors can be traced to the Perseus constellation, from which they get their name, which will climb in the northeastern sky as the evening passes. The average particle size is that of large sand grain but some small pea gravel size meteors can cause bright fireballs that light up the sky and ground.

You can help find a dark enough spot near you, using this atlas of artificial sky brightness.

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This weekend will be the best time to view the event with its maximum peak on Sunday night and Monday morning.

According to Jolene Creighton at Quarks to Quasars, the meteors you'll be able to see during the meteor shower's peak each hour will be blasting into Earth's atmosphere at speeds of around 209,000 kilometres per hour (130,000 miles per hour).

When the "radiant" is highest in the sky, we'll see the most meteors.

Cooke says if you plan on watching the show, just relax, look up and enjoy the meteor show. You may have a slightly better chance if you face northeast.

You will be in for a treat as this means roughly one per minute.

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. Our advice? Bring a rug, a flask of tea (or, you know, whiskey - pick your poison) and some insect repellent, and get gazing.

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