Don't miss the meteor shower

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Anyone who was disappointed by the brightness of the almost full moon obscuring the Perseid meteor shower previous year will have a chance to turn their stargazing luck around this month.

Keen stargazers may have already spotted one or two streaking meteors since around mid-July when the Perseids started to appear.

Where are the best places to go to see the Perseid meteor shower?

Although the shower peaks on August 12, you'll be able to see a good deal of shooting stars all weekend and into Monday.

The storm peaks in the early morning hours (just after midnight) of August 12 and 13 - this Sunday and Monday.

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The Perseids happen each year as Earth passes through the trail of dust left behind by the comet Swift-Tuttle, which makes a full orbit of the sun every 133 years.

This means the moon will set before the meteor showers stars. During a solar eclipse, the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, casting a shadow on planet Earth.

In 2018, the peak night of this shower will be totally free of moonlight.

The Perseids appear to emanate from between the constellations Perseus and Cassiopeia, but to catch them there's really no need to worry about which direction you're looking.

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.

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Where do the Perseids come from?

The space expert said: "The best observed rates are found when the Perseid radiant is highest in the sky during the pre-dawn hours, but even in the mid-evening from 10pm the radiant is already at a quite favourable elevation above the horizon".

In fact, you can expect to see between fifty to a hundred meteors an hour in places where the sky is very dark.

Spectators in the Northern Hemisphere will have the best view of the Perseid meteor shower, as the meteors will appear to radiate out from the constellation Perseus in the northeastern sky.

If you head out to a big open space with little light pollution you will have a better chance of seeing them.

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