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

09 August 2018

The annual Perseid meteor shower will be peaking this Saturday and Sunday night.

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

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

But there is no need to search for the constellation because the shooting star will zoom across the sky in ever direction conceivable. The peak will be from 9.00 pm on Sunday 12th August to 4.30 am on Monday 13th August.

The Perseid meteors are actually pieces of debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle, the largest object known to repeatedly pass by Earth.

The phenomenon is caused by debris from the tail of the Swift-Tuttle comet entering the Earth's atmosphere and burning up, appearing as bright streaks of light crossing the sky.

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

Every between mid-July and the last week of August the Earth approaches the comet's orbital path.

If you want to catch the Perseids in all their glory, a drive to the darkest place near your home should suffice.

Meteors streak across the night sky during the Orionid meteor shower on October 23, 2016.

Timeanddate.com provides tables indicating when the showers are active and even gives some nice tips on how to best watch the performance.

They should start whizzing across the sky before midnight, but the best displays will be in the hours before dawn.

Once darkness falls on August 12, sky-watchers can expect to see one of the shooting stars every few minutes.

"Even in towns or cities observed rates may still be around 10 to 20 an hour in the early morning hours when the radiant is high". However, NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke said he's inclined to lean toward the night of august 12-13 being a better show.

This year the shower is aided by the darkened August New Moon lunar phase.

If you head out to a big open space with little light pollution you will have a better chance of seeing them.

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