Perseids 2018: Where and how to watch the dazzling meteor shower

The Perseid meteor shower will burst into light throughout the month of August - but it's predicted to be at its best this weekend, according to NASA.

An added bonus is that moonlight will not interfere with the spectacle this year.

With a "new moon" in place, the sky will extra dark for the astrological show.

There's no need to worry about meteors raining down on you, though, as Sky and Telescope says the bright streaks of the Perseids burning up are actually about 80 miles (128,748 meters) above your head and created by pieces of space debris about the size of a small pebble.

The Perseids meteor shower is named after the Perseus constellation as it is the point (called the radiant) where the meteors appear to start from. The best Perseid performance we know of occurred in 1993, when the peak rate topped 300 meteors per hour, Cooke said.

A glorious display of Perseid meteors is set to light up the skies over the United Kingdom on Sunday night.

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"If you have seen a few of them you have seen them all", he said. The best time to view this event is after midnight and before sunrise both Saturday and Sunday nights.

According to NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke, the shower should feature 60 to 70 meteors per hour at its peak. Shooting stars could happen every minute.

Anyone who was disappointed by the brightness of the almost full moon obscuring the Perseid meteor shower a year ago will have a chance to turn their stargazing luck around this month. So that's the part of the sky you should anchor your meteor search from, but they will scatter across the sky as shooting stars from there. That's when the earth will have turned into the meteor stream, which means the show will be just above the horizon line.

The annual Perseid shower occurs when the Earth's orbit crosses the path of debris thrown off by Comet Swift-Tuttle.

Heading out to a dark spot is the best plan of action, but stargazers should allow around 20 minutes for their eyes to become accustomed to the dark.

If you want to catch a glimpse of the Perseid meteor shower, then it's worth finding a dark location; light pollution will inhibit your view of the meteor shower.

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