Perseid meteor shower to peak on August 12

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Perseid meteor shower to peak on August 12

The astronomical event, which is perhaps the most popular meteor shower of the year, will peak at 1PM ET (6PM in the UK) on 12 August.

The Perseid meteor shower is associated with the Swift-Tuttle comet. The peak is expected Saturday, and during its best hours, stargazers can expect to see at least 80 meteors an hour, the report added. They hit our atmosphere at a distance of 50 to 75 miles with a speed that can be 25,000 or even 160,000 miles per hour.

Previous year the figure peaked at 150 to 200 an hour. "But the good news is that the Perseids are rich in fireballs; otherwise the moon would really mess with them".

In full flow, this year's especially active shower will produce up to 150 "shooting stars" an hour.

Last year, astronomers said that the 2016 Perseids were going to be one of the best showings in years, due to Earth passing through a particularly dense part of Comet Swift-Tuttle's debris stream.

What causes the meteor shower?

While the meteor shower will peak on August 11-13, the programme is scheduled for the weekend so most people can make it for the event. Rising at around 11 p.m. on Friday night, and around midnight on Saturday night, the Moon will present a source of light pollution in the sky, that will washed out numerous fainter meteors.

The earth passes each year through a place where comets flew in the past. The constellation in which the radiant is located gives the shower its name, and in this case, Perseids appear to come from a point in the constellation Perseus. But we'll see some meteors nonetheless. Now imagine yourself being back in 1833, on the night of November 12. The best thing to do is to go outside on the evenings before or after the peak on August 12, give your eyes about 45 minutes to adjust to the darkness, lie down, and look straight up into the sky.

The best place to see the Perseid meteor shower from is outside of your local city, town or village, away from sources of light pollution.

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