How to see the Perseid meteor shower peak this weekend


During exceptional years, I've counted more than 300 meteors during a single night. It's a rich meteor shower, and it's steady. However, some clouds will dampen visibility in the South and the West, while the California wildfires will cause viewing problems out there. Those in rural locations with dark skies will get the best views but even city dwellers will see plenty. With some luck, you should be able to catch a glimpse of the shooting stars yourself.

A glorious display of Perseid meteors is set to light up the skies over the United Kingdom on Sunday night.

The shower is expected to peak on the night of Sunday August 12, though Saturday and Monday will also offer excellent views.

"Preparations have been finalised where visitors can lay back and relax to watch the complete Perseid Meteor Shower from our desert Majlis setting, without the need or use of any special equipment or telescopes, though visitors are free to choose whether or not to bring one", said Alsuwaidi. At peak time under good conditions, you can expect to see 60 to 70 meteors per hour. Planets like Mars and Saturn will also be visible during this time, until about 4 a.m. local time for the Red Planet and 2 a.m. local time for Saturn.

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. This almost two-month spread suggests that comet debris has spread widely since Swift-Tuttle first passed though the inner solar system thousands of years ago. It's swing by again in 2126.

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The annual Perseid meteor shower happens when the Earth sweeps through dust that's left behind by a comet swift-tunnel, according to University of Manitoba instructor Danielle Pahud.

But what if you're unable to get to that dark site, or - worse yet - what if your weather is poor?

Each time Swift-Tuttle passes through the warmth of the inner solar system, its frozen, 16-mile-wide nucleus releases debris along the comet's path - through which the Earth passes each summer.

Ali bin Amer Al Shibani, Head of the Omani Astronomical Society said that the date of the meteors can be forecasted and that meteors may last for hours, days or weeks.