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

by Edgar Hayes August 11, 2018, 1:09

The Perseids appear to emanate from between the constellations Perseus and Cassiopeia, but to catch them there's really no need to worry about which direction you're looking.

"If you have seen a few of them you have seen them all", he said.

Though the Perseids can be spotted between July 17 and August 24, the best views will be from Sunday at 4 Monday at 4 a.m. EST, when the night is almost moonless.

One of the best shooting-star shows of the year (at least in the northern hemisphere) is upon us again with the arrival of the Perseid meteor shower.

But the shooting stars have only just began to build in intensity and will soon burst into the night skies in full glory between the night of Sunday, August 12, and the morning of Monday, August 13.

The interstellar debris slams into the Earth's atmosphere at impressive speeds and burns up in the night skies, producing bright fireballs. 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.

Unfortunately, you may have to stay up late or set your alarm for an early start if you want to spot the best of the display.

The best time to see those meteors is at around 11 p.m. ET until dawn the next morning.

Every August there is an opportunity to see meteor showers and this weekend is your chance for 2018.

The best weather conditions to see the meteor shower peak are clear and cloudless skies with little to none moonlight. The moon will also not be an issue this year with only a crescent moon appearing. It's recommended you find a dark sky in a rural area away from artificial lighting.

"Relax, be patient, and let your eyes adapt to the darkness", J. Kelly Beatty, senior editor of Sky & Telescope magazine, said in a statement. The Perseids are part of the 16-mile comet Swift-Tuttle's trail of dust, and they're named after the constellation Perseus, according to the American Meteor Society.

Good visibility is in the forecast for both nights.

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