The Perseid meteor shower is going to be wonderful this weekend

10 August, 2018, 05:32 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • Perseid meteor shower

Meteor showers occur when Earth passes through debris from comets and asteroids. The peak will be from 9.00 pm on Sunday 12th August to 4.30 am on Monday 13th August. The comet is the largest object known to repeatedly careen by earth, with a nucleus of 16 miles wide.

We've rounded up everything you need to know about the Perseids meteor shower, including how and where to watch them.

Every 133 years or so, the massive Swift-Tuttle comet careens through our solar system at 150 times the speed of sound, spreading a dirty trail of ice, dust and sundry space schmutz behind it. This year, the Perseids will peak at 50-70 meteors per hour.

"The moon is very favorable for the Perseids this year, and that'll make the Perseids probably the best shower of 2018 for people who want to go out and view it", Cooke told Space.com.


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. Bill Cooke, a scientist at NASA's Meteoroid Environments Office in Alabama, framed the phenomenon well in a 2016 interview with NASA.

The best time to view the Perseids is around midnight and during the early hours of the morning - up until 5.30am - when light pollution is at its lowest.

Although, stargazers in mid-northern latitudes will be privy to the best views, according to NASA, anyone can see the light show. The moon will also not be an issue this year with only a crescent moon appearing.

As he was executed on August 10, many Catholics associate the Perseid meteor shower with St Lawrence, and dub the shooting stars as the "tears of St Lawrence" as they occur at the same time each year. For these extra sparkly Perseid years, you can thank one of our obtrusive cosmic neighbors: Jupiter. "Remember, you don't have to look directly at the constellation to see them". But, keep your head up and eye to the sky, you might catch a glimpse of a few shooting stars in the days leading up to or days following the peak. However, this year with a dark clear sky, it's possible to see an fantastic light show.

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