Sci-tech

LOOK UP: Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks This Weekend

LOOK UP: Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks This Weekend

If that's accurate, it means that if you can see the stars of the Big Dipper, you should be able to see numerous Perseid meteors, astronomer Steven Bellavia from Brookhaven National Laboratory told Gizmodo.

You'll be able to see a few meteors in the sky over the next few nights, but the Perseids meteor shower peaks Sunday night.

But in order to enjoy the sight of "shooting stars", clear skies are necessary. If bad weather does spoil your view, you can also watch the Perseid meteor shower live here on Sunday (Aug. 12) starting at 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT), courtesy of the online observatory Slooh.com. The moon will be in it's "new moon" phase allowing for even darker and better conditions.

Where is the best place to view them?

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The shower will be visible to the naked eye. 60 to 100 meteors are expected to be visible every hour.

Perseid meteors pose no threat to Earth, as many of them burn up in the atmosphere more than 50 miles above the surface. But when comets come close to the heat of the Sun, their ice melts and the remaining matter (the meteoroids) is left behind in the orbit of the comet.

The Perseids fall from 17 July to 24 August, but this is the best weekend to catch them, with experts citing the night of 12 August as being the peak.

Meteor showers are caused by dust breaking off of a comet.

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Patience is key. It can take up to 45 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark for optimal viewing. The Perseids have a track record of being "moderately bright" as they streak across the sky.

You'll need to get away from city lights and move to a low-lit area.

A number of planets will also be highly visible. Around 10 p.m., the meteors' visibility should begin to increase. But not to fret, as should you miss the bulk of the meteors this weekend, though the number per hour will drop off, some stragglers should hang around until August 24.

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