Here's how to see the Perseid meteor shower this weekend

Perseid meteor shower 2018

GETTY PERSEID METEOR SHOWER The dazzling display can be seen mid-August

The peak nights for this year's shower will be from August 11 to 12 and August 12 to 13, with more than 100 meteors visible per hour, according to Gary Boyle, an Ottawa-based astronomer.

"The shower is the second strongest of the year, rich in fireballs, and only the December Geminids are better (but night is much colder and not so comfortable to observe)", Bill Cooke, a meteor expert at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, told NBC News MACH in an email.

How many meteors will we see?

No special equipment is needed to witness the Perseids meteor shower, Son said, recommending places with an unobstructed view of the sky.

However, according to NASA, the night before August 11-12, will also be stunning. So most of the shower activity and thicker cloud cover should stay to our south and east.

That means the weekend should be favorable for stargazing.

When is the best time to see the meteor shower?

After, all they come every year.

And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to get a good view, or even to wish upon a shooting star (or several dozen of them).

Discovered in 1862, Swift-Tuttle is considered a large comet.

How fiery and bright the show might be depends on how the dust and particles are distributed along the orbit.

Every summer, Earth ploughs through this thick trail (this year, it entered the trail on July 17, and it will exit on August 24), allowing some of the comet's ancient debris to enter and burn up in our planet's atmosphere. When it last passed by in 1992, this comet left a trail of stony grit, NASA reported.

"Most of the time when you get the highest fields is when the comet itself is actually close to the sun". Records of the meteor shower date back nearly 2,000 years. He suggests grabbing a lawn chair and heading to Clinton Lake or anywhere a few miles outside of town where the sky is dark.

Twarog warns that the meteors cross the sky fairly quickly.

As this debris slams into the Earth's thin upper atmosphere, it rapidly slows down and then disintegrates in a luminous streak of light we popularly call a shooting star.

"They are basically rocks", he said.

If you'd rather watch the Perseid meteor shower from the comfort of your own home, the Virtual Telescope Project is live broadcasting the shower from scenic Castel Santa Maria, Italy, beginning at 4:30 p.m. EST on August 12. The best time to view this event is after midnight and before sunrise both Saturday and Sunday nights.

Those who live in areas with little light pollution will be able to see the shower best, if there's clear weather.

"It's just lovely", Twarog said.

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