The Perseid meteor shower is going to be amazing this weekend

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The Perseids, one of the best meteor showers of the year, will peak this weekend, and depending where you are the viewing conditions could be great.

The Perseids are dust and debris from the Comet Swift-Tuttle, AccuWeather explains. This year, the Perseids will peak at 50-70 meteors per hour.

The Perseid meteor shower will peak on the nights of Aug. 11-12 and Aug. 12-13. The best time to view is after midnight each night.

Experts offer some tips to get the most out of nature's fireworks: Since Perseid meteors can be seen from any direction in the sky, viewers should pick out a dark patch of sky free of light pollution and wait for the meteors to appear.

Dim meteors appear as a momentary flash of light while the brighter ones leave a glowing streak. The number of Perseids zipping across the sky should increase steadily through the night, peaking just before sunrise. Although the peak occurs this weekend, the Perseids are visible for several nights after that.

Unlike other celestial sightings that require a telescope or binoculars, the best way to watch a meteor shower is with the naked eye.

The Perseids are perhaps the most beloved of all meteor showers because of their predictability. The August shower gets its name from the constellation Perseus because the meteors appear to originate there.

The annual Perseid shower occurs when the Earth's orbit crosses the path of debris thrown off by Comet Swift-Tuttle. As the cosmic junk — many the size of a grain of sand — enters the atmosphere, it burns up in a flash, appearing as "shooting stars" across the sky.

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.


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