Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Perseid meteor shower: 'TEARS of Biblical saint' to RAIN DOWN this weekend

Perseid meteor shower: 'TEARS of Biblical saint' to RAIN DOWN this weekend

Some 60 to 100 meteors — better known as shooting stars — can be seen per hour as the Earth encounters the gritty debris of Comet Swift-Tuttle, the icy parent of the Perseid meteor shower.

The best time to view the Perseids is around midnight and during the early hours of the morning - up until 5.30am - when light pollution is at its lowest. The Perseids happen every year, but this year's crescent moon will make the sky darker, allowing the meteors to shine.

This year's shower will be putting on its best display for those in Europe, but as it's peak last so long, from the 11th to 12th, it should also put on a spectacular display for the U.S. and elsewhere in the northern hemisphere.

This year you can catch the spectacular display on August 12, going into August 13, when the shower peaks.

According to Jolene Creighton at Quarks to Quasars, the meteors you'll be able to see during the meteor shower's peak each hour will be blasting into Earth's atmosphere at speeds of around 209,000 kilometres per hour (130,000 miles per hour).

Where can I see it?

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The Perseids can be witnessed in the northern sky whenever the meteors enter Earth's atmosphere throughout the day. However, they can be seen clearest after sunset. "The moon is very favorable for the Perseids this year, and that'll make the Perseids probably the best shower of 2018 for people who want to go out and view it".

"If you have seen a few of them you have seen them all", he said.

Timeanddate.com provides tables indicating when the showers are active and even gives some nice tips on how to best watch the performance. For city residents, parks can offer relief from light to watch the streaks.

While stars and star clusters are Twarog's specialty, he said he appreciates how the meteor showers light up the summer sky and anyone can appreciate the celestial wonder. However, with a little planning and some patience, you can get some truly memorable images.

If you're fearless enough to give it a try, make sure to follow these key tips by NASA. The meteors will appear to come from the constellation Perseus with Cassiopeia just above.

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