The Perseid meteor shower is set to peak this week, treating stargazers to a dazzling display of shooting stars.
Known as one of the best and brightest meteor showers of the year, the annual Perseids take place from mid-July to mid-August as the Earth passes through the debris left by the comet Swift-Tuttle.
During its peak, the shower will rain down up to 100 meteors per hour, before it winds down again until August 24.
So when does it peak, and how can you see the display from here on earth?
When is the Perseid meteor shower peak this week?
The Perseids will peak from the evening of 11 August, through until 12 August.
The best time to see the meteors is between 1am and dawn when the sky is at its darkest.
Nasa’s Emily Clay writes in the NASA blog: ‘The Perseids are best seen between about 2 a.m. your local time and dawn. The Moon rises at around midnight, so its brightness will affect the peak viewing window.
‘However, even though the Moon’s phase and presence will keep the frequency of visible meteors lower, there is still nearly one meteor every two minutes during the peak!’
How can I see the Perseid meteor shower this week?
You don’t need any special equipment to see this celestial gem – simply try to find an unobstructed view to the east, and make yourself comfortable.
Light pollution will also affect visibility so it is advised you get as clear a spot as you can.
However, you should be able to see the shower from any part of the UK – just allow yourself around 20 minutes for your eyes to become accustomed to the darkness.
During this time, do not look at your phone.
Dr Robert Massey, from the Royal Astronomical Society, said: ‘The shower will be visible all over the UK, as long as the skies are clear.
‘Unlike a lot of celestial events, meteor showers are easy to watch and no special equipment is needed, although a reclining chair and a blanket make viewing much more comfortable.’
And if the weather doesn’t co-operate and visibility is poor, you can always watch a live stream of the shower via NASA Meteor watch Facebook.
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