When and how to see the Perseids meteor shower

A meteor seen during a Perseids meteor shower. Photo: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

A meteor seen during a Perseids meteor shower. Photo: Tim Ireland/PA Wire - Credit: PA

People can already catch a glimpse of one of the best meteor showers of the year. 

The Perseids meteor shower is taking place and will grow over the coming weeks, building up to a peak on the night of August 12 and before dawn on August 13.

It is described as one of the most dramatic celestial displays of the year, with shooting stars lighting up the skies this month and next as a result of debris from comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle colliding into the Earth's atmosphere.

Royal Museums Greenwich (RMG) said it is called the Perseids because the meteors seem to originate from the Perseus constellation, which astronomers call the meteor shower's radiant.

NASA said the Perseids shower is active now through to August 24, and is considered to be the best meteor shower of the year - giving off around 50 to 100 meteors per hour.

With the warm summer nights, weather viewers will be able to watch the display more easily.

RMG said observers can increase their chances of spotting meteors by planning ahead and checking the weather forecast, reducing the amount of light pollution in their field of view such as heading out to the countryside, and giving their eyes at least 15 minutes to adjust to the dark.

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