Best viewing for Perseid meteor shower should be this weekend

The Greatest Meteor Show of All Time | Watch the Skies - NASA Blogs

Given the sheer scale of the show taking place overhead, stargazers will likely have pains in their necks by the end of the annual Perseids meteor shower this weekend.

The moon will be three quarters full and high in the sky at peak time for the meteor shower Saturday night, meaning the number of meteors that can be seen by the naked eye will be down to roughly 40-50 per hour rather than the usual 80-100.

The Perseid meteor shower is caused by Earth passing through debris thrown off by the comet Swift-Tuttle. "The best Perseid performance of which we are aware occurred back in 1993, when the peak Perseid rate topped 300 meteors per hour".

Although it will go on for a few days it will peak on Saturday, August 12.

Stargazers expect a similar outburst during next week's Perseid meteor shower, which will be visible overnight on August 11 and 12. This happens every year on a very predictable schedule, beginning about July 17 until around September 1, with the peak in August, according to Sky & Telescope. This is where the radiant is, or the point in the sky where the meteors will appear to originate from.

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For this reason, the shower tends to be visible from mid-July each year.

The experts advised trying to catch a glimpse before the Moon rises around 11:00pm local time on Friday. Several sources include the added imperative that, regardless of your age, it is probably the last chance to see anything that even comes close, meteor-wise. Still plenty impressive, assuming you've got dark skies and good weather.

The celestial event will be most visible in the pre-dawn hours.

Look up at a height that's approximately two-thirds of the way into the sky towards any direction to see the shower.

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