Queensland best placed to see meteor shower

Dr. Bill Cooke with NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office tells CBS News that this year, spectators will be in store for a better watching experience due to diminished moonlight -- or in his words: "We won't have any moon messing it up".

"The Perseid meteor shower is the best of the year", said Jane Houston Jones from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. And conditions for viewing the meteors will be next to flawless this year.

As long as you're in the Northern Hemisphere, the Perseid meteor shower will be right overhead.

The meteor shower's peak is expected to occur the night of Sunday, Aug. 12 into the wee hours of Monday morning. Originating in the direction of the constellation Perseus the Hero, the Perseids arise from debris left in the inner solar system as comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle orbits the Sun every 133 years.

"Comets are spectacular and lovely and take months to go across the sky but every time they go near the sun they are melted down a little bit". During that optimum period you could see between 60 and 100 meteors per hour.

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A tent stands out against the starlit sky during the Perseid meteor shower on August 14, 2016 in Terlingua, Texas.

If you want to catch the Perseids in all their glory, a drive to the darkest place near your home should suffice. 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). "Comets and asteroids leave tiny bits of themselves in the orbital path that they take around the sun". As the space rocks burn, they create a bright streak of light known as meteors, or shooting stars.

In addition to the Perseids, there will also be four planets visible in the sky on the nights of the shower's peak.

The best time to see those meteors is at around 11 p.m. ET until dawn the next morning. Jupiter, Saturn and, last but not least, Mars will follow, sweeping in the east at about 11 p.m., 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. respectively.

Meteor showers are typically visible with the naked eye, and so no special equipment is needed (Photo: Shutterstock)How regular will the meteors be?

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