Perseid meteor shower to peak over Canada this weekend

Perseids 2018 Annual Perseid meteor shower

With the moon just a thin crescent in the sky around the time of this year's peak - and setting early in the evening - the sky will be left even darker, making the meteors that much easier to spot. During this time, you'll see an incredible number of meteors.

This year, the show will be particularly great, since there's a new moon August 11, meaning there'll be practically no moonlight to interfere with the show.

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. Though the shower hasn't yet reached its peak, observers have already reported spotting short bursts of high meteor activity (15 meteors per minute) at times, as well as significant meteor activity (~100) over several hours. "You can look anywhere you want to - even directly overhead". The comet Swift-Tuttle orbits the sun once every 133 years, so every August, the Earth passes through the comet's debris field.

And while they take his name, the meteors don't actually come from the stars in the Perseus constellation, which are hundreds of light-years away. The shower begins to peak on Friday, and the busiest stretch and the best viewing, according to NASA, will be from midnight Sunday through the predawn hours of Monday.

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The particles that cause the Perseids are travelling at around 60 km per second, which is why the meteors we see are typically very fast and bright.

When observed from the Earth the meteors only appear to be bursting out from the constellation but in reality the Perseus has no bearing on the Swift-Tuttle debris.

Patience is key. It can take up to 45 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark for optimal viewing. Look to the northeast about 40 degrees off the horizon. The comet is the largest object known to repeatedly careen by Earth, with a nucleus of 16 miles wide.

Stargazers are hoping for clear skies this weekend so they can see the Perseids in all their glory. The Perseids are best seen after 11 PM, away from city lights, and while looking at the northeastern sky. Mars, Jupiter and Saturn should offer good views in the sky as well, according to Bjerke.

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