How to see the Perseid meteor shower peak this weekend

Perseid meteor shower

You might be able to catch a handful or maybe even a dozen meteors per hour in the weeknights leading up to the main event that will coincide roughly with the new moon (meaning the moon is absent from the night sky) on Saturday evening.

METEORS come from the small particles, around the size of a grain of sand, left behind by comets (and some asteroids) as they orbit the sun. "Peak rates will be just before dawn".

At best, a typical Perseid meteor shower produces 80 to a few hundred meteors per hour.

During the Perseids' peak on the nights of August 11-12 and August 12-13, skywatchers should see about 60 to 70 meteors per hour, Space.com said.

There will also be a partial solar eclipse on August 11.

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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.

Ali bin Amer Al Shibani, Head of the Omani Astronomical Society said that the date of the meteors can be forecasted and that meteors may last for hours, days or weeks. 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.

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

It's the biggest meteor shower of the year, so you better stay up late and grab your binoculars. NASA recommends about 45 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the darkness.

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". "As long as you have clear skies and you're away from the city, you should have a good show".

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