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

According to NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke, the shower should feature 60 to 70 meteors per hour at its peak.

The view is expected to be exceptional this year because the showers coincide with a new moon.

If you want to catch the Perseids in all their glory, a drive to the darkest place near your home should suffice. The longer you're outside in the dark, the better your vision of the meteors will be.

So when is the Perseid meteor shower?

The meteor shower will reach its peak on the nights of August 11 and 12, and the show will get underway around midnight local time. Stargazers can expect to see 150-200 meteors an hour, complete with streaks and fireballs.

According to Space, this August during the peak, there should be about 60 to 70 meteors per hour, although previous year saw about 80 an hour.

It's the biggest meteor shower of the year, so you better stay up late and grab your binoculars. However, observers in the mid-Southern Hemisphere will still have a chance of seeing some shooting stars if they look toward the northeast horizon.

If you're planning on watching the Perseid meteor shower, bear in mind that it will take at least 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the darkness. No special equipment is needed, just patience.

Also present in the night sky at this time is Mars, which will hang low in the south east. The best Perseid performance we know of occurred in 1993, when the peak rate topped 300 meteors per hour, Cooke said.

You can watch the livestream below.

Twarog describes the Perseid meteor shower as "spectacular", however he doesn't get too excited about the event.

That's when the peak will start to build as Earth drifts through the most dense part of a cloud of cosmic debris left behind by Comet Swift-Tuttle, which passes by our planet and the sun once every 133 years.

The basic idea behind the annual meteor shower begins with a comet - basically a large ball of frozen ice and rocks that travels around the sun.

Every between mid-July and the last week of August the Earth approaches the comet's orbital path.

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