This Weekend Is The Perseid Meteor Show - Viewing Conditions Will Be Perfect

This Weekend Is The Perseid Meteor Show - Viewing Conditions Will Be Perfect

Most meteor showers have a short peak, but the Perseid has a very broad peak because it takes three weeks for Earth to get through the trail of cometary dust of the Swift-Tuttle comet.

It means that because of the moonless sky we'll experience this weekend, the Perseid meteor shower will be quite the spectacle as it lights up the exceptionally dark skies. This matter is what makes for meteor showers, as they burn up, due to friction, while entering the Earth's atmosphere, making them look like shooting stars. This annual occurrence is just one of the many cosmic phenomenon that we've seen this year (so far).

It's called the Perseid meteor shower and it happens every August.

"You'll get a decent show as long as you're north of the equator", Dr. Bill Cooke with NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office tells CBS News of the weekend chances to see meteors.

The best viewing will be away from city lights and other sources of light pollution.

To view it, look high in the northeastern sky to find the constellations Perseus and Cassiopeia.

The shower occurs every year between July 17 and August 24, and tends to peak around August 9 to 13.

People can also bring lawn chairs and blankets to watch the meteor shower from the grassy area around the observatory.

Allow about 45 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark. It averages about 60 meteors per hour. Smoke from the California wildfires that now covers parts of the western USA may create hazy sky conditions capable of significantly dimming bright stars - and bright meteors.

Thankfully for United Kingdom watchers, this particular meteor shower favours the northern hemisphere - so we're in a prime spot to witness it.

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