Best times for you to view this weekend's Perseid meteor shower

Officials say the annual sky event is the most popular, as it gives non-enthusiasts a chance to see them.

In a report, according to NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke, the Perseids has typical rates of about 80 meteors an hour.

Most of the meteors-called meteoroids while in space, and meteorites if they survive the trip to our planet's surface-are just the size of a grain of sand, but when they hit the Earth's atmosphere at 59 kilometres per second, they burn with a fierce burst of brilliant light. The moon light will make the meteor rate appear to be about half of the average because of the bright light.

He said the best time to watch the shower is around 2 or 3 in the morning, but you have to watch closely.

On this night, the moon will be around three-quarters full, making it trickier to spot the shower in the sky.

You have plenty of time to see the Perseids Meteor Shower as it will take place on Friday, August 11 to Sunday, August 13.

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NASA astronomers have estimated that this year's Perseid meteor shower will generate almost 40 to 50 shooting stars streaking across the night sky each hour during its peak.

Cooke said the show would be slightly better in the predawn hours of August 12, but that there'd be a decent show both nights.

The meteor shower usually peaks around the evening and morning of August 12 and 13.

NASA suggest going outside between midnight and dawn, allowing 45 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the darkness, then simply lie on your back and look up to the sky.

Lay on a reclining chair or lounger, or just put a blanket on the floor. The best conditions are no clouds and a dark sky. This is the Milky Way, our home galaxy and we are looking at it edge on from within. However, one thing is for sure: the 2017 Perseid meteor shower will not bring any of them closer to that dream. This orbital laboratory is the size of a football pitch, travels at 1,7500 mph and is around 200 miles up! "The last time it went by was 1992 and the next time it will go by is 2126".

Cooke also said that the record for the brightest meteor shower in recorded human history also belongs to the Leonids, which lit up the sky in 1833 to a point where people thought it was the end of the world. A sky far out in the countryside shows more details than one bathed in the glow of a city. It peaks this weekend. This is caused by the comet Swift-Tuttle.

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  • Regina Walsh