What you need to know about the Perseid meteor shower

12:31pm


The Canadian Press

"Sky gazers just need to look to the northeast to observe the Perseid showers", Dr Marzouk suggested. During the Sunday night peak, Steve said up to 60 meteors an hour (an average of one per minute) could be visible.

The meteor shower started to break out into the night sky around mid-July and will carry on through to the last week of August.

The annual performance of the Perseid meteor shower is due to reach its peak late on Sunday night (Aug. 12) into the predawn hours of Monday morning.

This year, the peak of the shower should be out of this world. It's best seen in dark skies after 10pm, with more meteors closer to dawn.

Leftover clouds from any daytime storms may get in the way of our view at night. If you're surrounded by street lights, the meteors you would normally have been able to see "you can't because the sky is so filled with light".

The shower that we see from Earth is the little bits of ice and dust - that are usually no bigger than a pea - hitting the Earth's atmosphere at a staggering 134,000 miles per hour.

Every 133 years it makes an orbit around the sun, each time leaving behind a trail consisting of trillions of little pieces of debris.

One such person is Paul Jacobs, who photographed some stunning images of the Perseid meteors over the beach at Lee-on-the-Solent in Hampshire. Speaking from experience, I used to watch the show as a kid living a mile from New York's JFK airport, and I generally saw a handful of meteors from my backyard with all the house lights turned off.

No special equipment is needed, but if you want the best view, it helps to be as far from artificial light as possible. The shower got its name from the fact that the meteors seem to come from a single point in the constellation Perseus.

During this period, a small number of meteors will streak across the starry skies.

-If you plan on capturing them on camera, don't forget to lower the shutter speed!

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