Here's What You Need to Know About the Perseid Meteor Shower

While everyone is anticipating the eclipse in 10 days, this weekend the sky is putting on the pre-show. Be patient, though. The moon will be pretty bright, making it more hard to see some of the dimmer meteors.

Avoiding light pollution is key to watching an astronomical event like a meteor shower.

This is because the waning moon will still be at around 80 percent of its full brightness so it will hinder our view of the celestial display.

NASA says the absolute best time to see the meteor shower will be in the predawn hours on Aug 12 (Saturday).

The Perseids happen when Earth hits a belt of debris left behind by the comet Swift-Tuttle on its elongated, 133-year orbit around the sun.

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The moon rises around 11 p.m.so if you get out to watch just before that you may get a better show even though the peak hours of the showers are between midnight and dawn.

Visibility should still be very good the following night (12-13) but it is Friday night into Saturday morning at which it will be best.

This year, the meteors will peak on Saturday August 12.

"The Perseid meteor shower is the most famous of all the meteor showers, providing an opportunity for non-enthusiasts to see a meteor". You won't need any fancy equipment to spectate this wonderful astrological event as the naked eye is the best choice to view the meteor shower. "A year ago also saw an outburst of just over 200 meteors per hour".

The Perseid Meteor Shower, one of the brighter meteor showers of the year, occurs annually between July 17 and August 24.

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The Perseid meteors pose no threat to Earth.

While usual rates for the Perseid meteor shower are roughly 80 shooting stars per hour, in outburst years like that of last year, the rate jumped to 150 to 200 meteors each hour during the peak. "You may see one every couple minutes on average, depending on the brightness and clarity of your sky". There are other comet debris trails throughout the year that give us other meteor showers, such as the Leonids in November.

For anyone planning to watch the Perseid meteor shower this weekend, the forecast holds some bad news.

Once you've found your spot, look to the north to see the meteors seemingly radiating out of the constellation Perseus, which is where the meteors get their name.

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