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

Perseid Meteor Shower 2018

Another viewing bonus this year is the new moon is Saturday which will make for nice and dark viewing conditions.

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.

They're bits of ice and dust, which can be as small as a grain of sand or as big as a pea.

The Perseids are debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle.

Perseid meteors can appear anywhere in the sky but their paths all point back to the constellation of Perseus in the northeast, but you can view any part of the sky, not just the northeast.

If you'd rather watch the Perseid meteor shower from the comfort of your own home, the Virtual Telescope Project is live broadcasting the shower from scenic Castel Santa Maria, Italy, beginning at 4:30 p.m. EST on August 12.

During the showers, you can expect to see about 60 to 70 meteors per hour, which breaks down to about one meteor per minute. The shower begins to peak on Friday, and the busiest stretch and the best viewing, according to NASA, will be from midnight Sunday through the predawn hours of Monday. According to the space agency, the annual meteor shower, also called the summer Perseids, stands out from most meteor showers by having a very broad peak of high meteor rates.




While a falling meteorite can be seen any night of the year, it's this weekend when the sky puts on a show as the Earth passes through the stream of the comet.

It is not expected to pass the earth again until 2126.

Meteor showers are some of the universe's most welcoming astronomical occurrences.

How can you view this meteor shower? You can see them with the naked eye, as long as you go to a dark area, away from the city.

Plus, it's good to give your eyes time to adjust; your peepers can take around 15 to 20 minutes to get used to the dark. However, with a little planning and some patience, you can get some truly memorable images.

Dr. Auld says that if you have several people together, a lot of the times two people will say oh there's one, but they're pointing in completely separate directions because there's more than one at the same moment.

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