Perseid Meteor Shower: How to see it this weekend

2018 Perseids Meteor Shower

2018 Perseids Meteor Shower

Starting tonight and through the weekend, Shenandoah National Park will be hosting the "Night Sky Festival", with space-related activities, and a front row seat to a meteor shower.

It's the biggest meteor shower of the year, so you better stay up late and grab your binoculars.

The Perseid meteor shower of 2018 is nearly upon us. Look north to see more meteors. Stargazers will be able to see the falling debris as "shooting stars".

And in some places, a sky free from clouds will not automatically mean a good view for the meteors.

The Perseids arrive each year in the night skies when the Earth passes through the cosmic trail of Comet Swift-Tuttle.

This year is an especially good one for watching the Perseid shower as the moon will be in its least visible phase so its light won't be dominating the sky.

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. From our perspective, the meteors all seem to come from a single point called the "radiant", but that's because they are moving parallel to each other.

Allow about 45 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark.

The festival is aligning with the Perseids meteor shower. If you're out looking for meteors in the city, it's worth finding the darkest spot you can, far from streetlights, and getting your eyes used to the dark for a half hour or so.

This year we can expect 60 to 70 meteors per hour with up to 100 meteors per hour at times.

The key to seeing a meteor is to take in as much sky as possible.

People can also bring lawn chairs and blankets to watch the meteor shower from the grassy area around the observatory.

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