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Perseids 2018: Where and how to watch the dazzling meteor shower

09 August 2018

It's nearly time for the annual Perseid Meteor Shower, and NASA expects it'll be the most dazzling meteor shower of the year. That's when the peak will start to build as Earth drifts through the most dense part of a cloud of cosmic debris left behind by Comet Swift-Tuttle, which passes by our planet and the sun once every 133 years. "You should be able to see some meteors from July 17 to August 24, with the rates increasing during the weeks before August 12 and decreasing after the 13th", NASA said in a skywatching video.

Skygazers can witness up to a whopping 60 and 70 meteors every hours.

The Perseids will light up the sky with dozens of meteors an hour on August 11 to 13, setting up a spectacular show for stargazers.

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The Perseids appear to emanate from between the constellations Perseus and Cassiopeia, but to catch them there's really no need to worry about which direction you're looking. The annual Perseid meteor shower will be peaking this Saturday and Sunday night. Astronomy Magazine recommends getting up early to try viewing the shower in the last dark hour before dawn, but it's worth looking up at any hour after dusk. Best of all, constellations and the Milky Way should be highly visible due to a New Moon on August 11, meaning there will not be as much light to drown out the stars.

Perhaps you might remember an fantastic meteor show back in the early 1990s? You may have a slightly better chance if you face northeast.

Just allow yourself 30 minutes for your eyes to get adjusted to the dark. Some more good news - with the New Moon coming on August 11, the light pollution will be low.

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Bill Cooke, NASA meteor expert, told Space.com: "The moon is very favourable for the Perseids this year, and that'll make the Perseids probably the best shower for 2018 for people who want to go out and view it".

Being in the northern hemisphere, the United Kingdom is in a prime spot to witness the lunar show.

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Perseids 2018: Where and how to watch the dazzling meteor shower