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How to see the Perseid meteor shower peak this weekend

09 August 2018, 07:09 | Dale Webster

GETTY PERSEID METEOR SHOWER You can see the meteors with the naked eye

Perseid meteor shower 2018

The annual Perseid meteor shower will be peaking this Saturday and Sunday night.

The Perseids produce the highest number of bright fireball meteors. That's fewer than the 150-200 meteors per hour that can be seen in years when the shower is in outburst, but will likely still make for quite the show.

As meteors enter the earth's atmosphere they leave streaks of light in the sky, which some people call shooting stars. Although the peak occurs this weekend, the Perseids are visible for several nights after that.

The Perseids appear at about this time every year when Earth ventures through pieces of debris left behind by the ancient comet Swift-Tuttle. During a solar eclipse, the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, casting a shadow on planet Earth.

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.

In 2018, the peak night of this shower will be totally free of moonlight.




"The Perseids appear to radiate from the constellation Perseus, visible in the northern sky soon after sunset this time of year".

If you'd rather watch the Perseid meteor shower from the comfort of your own home, the Virtual Telescope Project is live broadcasting the shower from scenic Castel Santa Maria, Italy, beginning at 4:30 p.m. EST on August 12. Observers in mid-northern latitudes will have the best views.

During these nights the moon will be in its crescent-shape, or "new moon" phase.

They should start whizzing across the sky before midnight, but the best displays will be in the hours before dawn.

In fact, you can expect to see between fifty to a hundred meteors an hour in places where the sky is very dark. Nope! Although the peaks are the best times (as long as there's no moonlight), annual meteor showers typically last weeks, not days... building up gradually and then falling off rapidly. Your rooftop may not be the best solution, especially if you're in downtown (you need to get as far away from light pollution as possible).



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