Perseid meteor shower: how to see shooting stars this weekend

Perseids 2018 Perseid meteor shower at night

The best time for viewing will fall on the nights between 11 August and 13 August, although the evening of 12 August will optimal, with experts suggesting that up to 100 meteors per hour will be visible.

Conditions are ideal this year with no Moon to brighten the sky and drown out the fainter Perseids.

"This is the meteor shower people view most because it occurs in the summer, when the nights are warm and comfortable, when you only have to worry about mosquitoes", Cooke told Space.com. Observers will be able to see between 60 and 70 meteors per hour during the peak. This weekend (August 12-13th) marks the peak period to view the Perseids across all of North America.

The Perseids get their name from the constellation Perseus, which the meteors seem to come from (they do not actually originate in the constellation).

Viewing here in West Michigan appears to be fair to good as of this writing. This month, our skies will be lit up with yet another celestial spectacle: the Perseid meteor shower, the shower NASA calls the 'best of the year'.

So if you're lucky enough to have a chance of catching the Perseid meteor shower, it sounds like you'll be in for a spectacular night of skywatching.

As Earth sweeps through the path of Swift-Tuttle's 133-year-orbit of the sun, it collects some of these bits of leftover comet, which incinerate in our atmosphere in a fiery blaze.

The Perseids are perhaps the most beloved of all meteor showers due to their predictability.

What is the Perseid Meteor Shower?

The last time Swift-Tuttle passed near Earth was in 1992.

You will be in for a treat as this means roughly one per minute. There's no need to look in any direction - the shooting stars should be visible in every part of the sky, weather permitting.

As the particles, ranging in size from a grain of sand to a pea, hit the Earth's atmosphere at 37 miles per second, they burn up and streak across the sky.

Since the Perseids always show up in August, they often coincide with warm summer nights - flawless weather for viewing if you can avoid rain or clouds and get to a dark spot. As always, it's best to get away from light pollution and head far away from city centers.

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