How to see the Perseid meteor shower peak this weekend

James Marshall
August 9, 2018

There's no need to worry about meteors raining down on you, though, as Sky and Telescope says the bright streaks of the Perseids burning up are actually about 80 miles (128,748 meters) above your head and created by pieces of space debris about the size of a small pebble.

However the shower will peak on the nights between August 11 and 12 and August 12 and 13. That was most likely the Perseids.

Meteors will be visible for those south of the equator, too, though not at the rate seen in more northern areas. The best Perseid performance we know of occurred in 1993, when the peak rate topped 300 meteors per hour, Cooke said.

If you're lucky, you may spot an "earthgrazer" during this time, according to EarthSky.

The event will coincide with the new moon, when the moon is essentially invisible in the sky.

What better way to spend the night than out under the stars. Better still, viewing conditions this time around are particularly ideal - due to a new moon. Best of all, constellations and the Milky Way should be highly visible due to a New Moon on August 11, meaning there will not be as much light to drown out the stars.

"The moon will be near new moon, it will be a crescent, which means it will set before the Perseid show gets underway after midnight", NASA's Bill Cooke told Space.com.

Observers in the United States, Europe, and Canada should begin looking to the sky from a few hours after twilight until dawn.

For viewers in Australia and other southern locations, meteors will start to appear in the sky around midnight and continue through the early hours of the morning. The meteors will appear to streak away from and out of the constellations of Perseus and Cassiopeia.

Instead, just look up.

The Perseids happen each year as Earth passes through the trail of dust left behind by the comet Swift-Tuttle, which makes a full orbit of the sun every 133 years. NASA says you 'can look anywhere you want to, ' to see the Perseids, 'even directly overhead'.

The American Meteor Society said to look for shooting stars before the break of dawn when the shower's radiant climbs into the sky.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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