Coming this weekend: The most spectacular meteor shower of the year

Cesar Mills
August 9, 2018

The stunning meteors peak around this time of the year, producing as many as 100 shooting stars every hour. The meteors will appear to streak away from and out of the constellations of Perseus and Cassiopeia.

In the past, the Perseid showers have produced such spectacular displays that people swamped radio stations with reports of a mysterious light in the sky. Dr. Bill Cooke with NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office tells CBS News that this year, spectators will be in store for a better watching experience due to diminished moonlight -- or in his words: "We won't have any moon messing it up".

Although the shower peaks on August 12, you'll be able to see a good deal of shooting stars all weekend and into Monday.

In August 2016, the shower produced about 150 meteors an hour and in 2009, the estimated peak was about 173 but some of the fainter meteors could have been washed out by Moonlight.

The giant Halley-type comet orbits the Sun roughly every 133 years and historical records suggest it may have been observed as early as 68 BC. "Comets and asteroids leave tiny bits of themselves in the orbital path that they take around the sun".

The meteors will appear to come from the direction of the Perseus constellation in the north-eastern part of the sky, although they should be visible from any point.

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

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

The space expert said: "The best observed rates are found when the Perseid radiant is highest in the sky during the pre-dawn hours, but even in the mid-evening from 10pm the radiant is already at a quite favourable elevation above the horizon". However, NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke said he's inclined to lean toward the night of August 12-13 being a better show.

This Perseid meteor shower will take place during a almost new moon-meaning it won't interfere with the show-and is expected to be the best meteor shower this year.

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

Other reports by GizPress

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