Perseid meteor shower best seen next weekend

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The meteor shower is already happening nightly and has been since July 17. Venus are Jupiter are both set before the Perseid, best views from 9:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. This year it will be at its peak on the evenings of August 11 and 12.

On the nights of August 12 and August 13, Cooke says stargazers all over the Northern Hemisphere should be able to see about 60 to 70 meteors streaking across the night skies - a dip from 2016, which saw more than twice as many meteors per hour, but a bump up from last year's 40 or 50, and still plenty vivid.

According to NASA, the Perseids have been observed for about 2,000 years. In 2016, it was an outburst year, which means the rate can be between 150-200 meteors an hour.

The Perseid meteor shower occurs every year when the Earth passes through the cloud of debris left by Comet Swift-Tuttle.

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Like all meteor showers it is caused by particles of comet debris entering our atmosphere.

The particles, many no bigger than a grain of sand or a pea, blast across the sky at some 132,000 miles per hour and disintegrate high up in our atmosphere after making a brilliant flash of light.

Cooke said the best way to view a meteor shower is to "take in as much sky as possible". Look for the constellation Perseus in the northeastern portion of the sky.

The Perseid Meteor Shower is back and the 2018 edition could be a banner event as we learn on Looking Up this week. Allow about 45 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark. "So don't rush the process".

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