Perseids 2018: Where And How To Watch The Dazzling Meteor Shower

We are all made of stars The night sky blankets Highway 2 on a balmy summer night.
Image Erik Pierce

But if the wee morning hours seem a little daunting the good news is NASA's Meteor Watch team has you covered.

While meteors from the Perseids have passed over Earth since the end of July and are expected to continue until late August, the ideal dates for viewing are between Saturday, August 11 and Monday, August 13, with the latter being the best of the three, Cooke says.

No doubt some of you witnessed the stunning natural display caused by the Perseid meteor shower last night. Meteor showers are a great opportunity for time-lapse videos and long-exposure photography, allowing your shots of the night sky to turn into van Gogh-like paintings of this starry spectacle. No special equipment is needed, and you can look anywhere in the sky! Wherever you are this weekend, do not forget to look up.

If you pay a visit to the Meteor Watch Facebook page you can set a reminder ahead of the stream to get a notification once it goes live.

But the shower slowly builds in intensity over the following weeks until it erupts around mid-August into a celestial show of fireworks.

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And if your view is obscured by weather or clouds this weekend, the Perseids are visible for several nights afterward.

The Perseid meteors are bits and pieces of space rock debris broken off from Comet Swift-Tuttle as it barrels around the Sun every 133 years.

The particles reach high speeds when entering Earth's atmosphere and disintegrate on their way to the ground, leaving a trace of light.

The Perseids take their name from the constellation Perseus, the constellation from which they are thought to have originated. But "Earthgrazer" meteors, which skim Earth's atmosphere and showcase long, blazing tails, are visible earlier when the radiant is low above the horizon.

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