Perseid Meteor Shower To Put On Brilliant Show This Weekend

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The showers are active from July 14 to Aug. 24, but peaks in mid-August.

Anyone who was disappointed by the brightness of the almost full moon obscuring the Perseid meteor shower a year ago will have a chance to turn their stargazing luck around this month.

During the maximum, or peak, Sunday night and early Monday morning, it could be possible to catch as many as 110 meteors in an hour, or almost two per minute on average.

People love the Perseid meteor shower because it's something they can view without any equipment; in fact a telescope is a waste of time, because the meteorites fly by so fast, Twarog said. Three years later, an Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaperelli identified the comet as the origin of the Perseid meteor shower.

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.

Twarog describes the Perseid meteor shower as "spectacular", however he doesn't get too excited about the event. However, this year with a dark clear sky, it's possible to see an awesome light show.

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Perseids meteor shower 2018: When is it?

The Perseids are named after the constellation Perseus, which is where the meteor shower's colorful streaks appear to come from in the night sky. That means staying away from urban areas if possible, as light pollution can dominate in cities.

Bill Cooke - NASA meteor expertHow many meteors will we see? Although you can snap a photo with nearly any camera, having a camera that allows you to manually control the exposure will be best.

-Give your eyes about 30 minutes to adjust to the dark sky."Don't expect to walk outside and see Perseids", Cooke said. "What happens over time is you get the comet and also this huge debris field which exists spread out along the entire orbit", Twarog said. So that's the part of the sky you should anchor your meteor search from, but they will scatter across the sky as shooting stars from there.

The Perseids are known both for their epic "fireballs" - explosions of light and color that last longer than those from typical meteors - and for the long, streaking trails they leave behind. "As long as you have clear skies and you're away from the city, you should have a good show".