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Perseid meteor shower expected to peak this weekend
10 August 2017, 12:26 | Shelley Chandler
Perseid meteor shower will peak on August 12 Reuters
The Perseid meteor shower, one of the best shooting star displays of the year, is set to peak on August 12. Whilst it officially started on 17 July, running through until 27 August, the Met Office has confirmed that the peak dates to see the shower are 12-13 August, with up to 100 meteors visible per hour.
Earth passes through this trail every year with the debris slamming into the upper atmosphere at speeds of up to 130,000 miles an hour (210,000 km). The stones through which Earth passes throw at this moment belonged to a comet named Swift-Tuttle. A good number of Perseid meteors will be bright, so you should be able to see Perseids, despite the moonlit glare. Their forecast was right, and at the shower's peak, some skywatchers saw over 200 meteors per hour!
The weekend will be showered with 150 meteors per hour, so imagine how many will be lighting the sky in 3 nights!
Whether you're on NASA's payroll or a total layman, the Perseid meteor shower is not to be missed. Rising at around 11 p.m. on Friday night, and around midnight on Saturday night, the Moon will present a source of light pollution in the sky, that will washed out numerous fainter meteors. So, while the Moon may prevent us from seeing all of the increased activity for this year, we may still see more fireballs, which are a spectacular part of the Perseids, every year. But we'll see some meteors nonetheless. The best thing to do is to go outside on the evenings before or after the peak on August 12, give your eyes about 45 minutes to adjust to the darkness, lie down, and look straight up into the sky.
Its name comes from the point at which the meteors appear to come from - its radiant - in the constellation of Perseus.
The best place to see the Perseid meteor shower from is outside of your local city, town or village, away from sources of light pollution.
Make sure the place you to opt to view the display is as dark as possible.
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