The Perseid meteor shower is going to be incredible this weekend

Perseid Meteor Shower 2018

The best time to observe is between midnight and dawn on the mornings of August 12 and 13.

The annual Perseid Meteor Shower will peak this weekend.

"This year's shower peak, however, has the added bonus of dark skies courtesy of an early-setting crescent Moon".

If you're unable to stay up late on those days, try Saturday night.

"You'll get a decent show as long as you're north of the equator", he said. Stargazers can expect to see 150-200 meteors an hour, complete with streaks and fireballs.

Twarog describes the Perseid meteor shower as "spectacular", however he doesn't get too excited about the event. Records of the meteor shower date back nearly 2,000 years. It is important to note that the constellation for which a meteor shower is named is not the source of the meteors, it is simply in the same direction.

There's a unique opportunity to watch what may look like shooting stars putting on a show this weekend.

"What we're seeing when we see meteors are little dust particles lighting up the atmosphere".

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Every summer, Earth ploughs through this thick trail (this year, it entered the trail on July 17, and it will exit on August 24), allowing some of the comet's ancient debris to enter and burn up in our planet's atmosphere.

Part of the reason the Perseids really sizzle in the summer sky in the northern hemisphere isn't the seasonal heat, but rather their speed, which can be almost 60 kilometers per second (134,000 miles per hour).

If you're interested in the best possible views of the show should set up shop somewhere dark-with no light pollution or large buildings-where much of the sky is visible. Tracking such meteor clusters and gaps helps astronomers better understand the scattering of space debris released by comets such as Swift-Tuttle. When it last passed by in 1992, this comet left a trail of stony grit, NASA reported.

The Perseids are made up of pieces of space debris that originate from comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle, which was discovered in 1862.

I'm often asked what part of the sky is best to watch.

NASA explained: "While observing this month, not all of the meteors you'll see belong to the Perseid meteor shower".

Here's hoping you find a dark spot with clear skies. Mars, Jupiter and Saturn should offer good views in the sky as well, according to Bjerke.

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