Perseid meteor shower peaks this weekend - here’s how to watch

The meteor shower's peak is expected to occur the night of Sunday, Aug. 12 into the wee hours of Monday morning.

The comet that left the Perseid meteor stream is a piece of dirty ice about 26km in diameter called 109P/Swift-Tuttle. During a solar eclipse, the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, casting a shadow on planet Earth. "Comets and asteroids leave tiny bits of themselves in the orbital path that they take around the sun".

Greater numbers of meteors are visible when the radiant is high.

According to NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke, the shower should feature 60 to 70 meteors per hour at its peak.

Meteors streak across the night sky during the Orionid meteor shower on October 23, 2016. The August shower gets its name from the constellation Perseus because the meteors appear to originate there.

The meteors will appear to come from the direction of the Perseus constellation in the north-eastern part of the sky, although they should be visible from any point. When the Earth's orbit crosses a trail of these particles they can collide with our atmosphere and burn up as shooting stars.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski rips NCAA for changing rules without consulting National Basketball Association
Athletes will be allowed more college-paid visits, which can begin as soon as August 1 the summer before their junior year. The NCAA also created new rules on when college coaches can see athletes.

The Perseids are best viewed from the Northern Hemisphere in the pre-dawn hours.

However, you can also catch the odd meteor before and after these dates.

The best nights to follow the fall of such meteors will be 11th, 12th and 13th of August 2018. The best time to be outside to catch the peak is between midnight and dawn.

In fact, you can expect to see between fifty to a hundred meteors an hour in places where the sky is very dark.

"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.

This Perseid meteor shower will take place during a almost new moon-meaning it won't interfere with the show-and is expected to be the best meteor shower this year. 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).

Latest News