Look up: Perseid meteor shower peaks this weekend

Look up: Perseid meteor shower peaks this weekend

The meteor shower is touted as the most prolific of the year, as between 50 and 60 meteors per hour will light up the sky. This matter is what makes for meteor showers, as they burn up, due to friction, while entering the Earth's atmosphere, making them look like shooting stars.

But considering that only about 10 per cent of the United Kingdom is urban, most of us shouldn't have a problem finding a darker spot to go look at the skies from.

The Perseid meteor shower of 2018 is nearly upon us.

Astrophysicist Ethan Siegle said: "During the peak of this year's Perseids, from August 11-13, you'll have a chance to see the best meteor shower in years".

-Get away from city lights.

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The meteors originate from the constellation of Perseus, which gives it its name. The comet Swift-Tuttle orbits the sun once every 133 years, so every August, the Earth passes through the comet's debris field. 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.

A number of planets will also be highly visible.

In the Astronomical League guidebook "Observe Meteors", astronomers David Levy and Stephen Edberg wrote, "We have seen Perseids coming in such rapid succession that counting and recording were hard, followed by slack periods with little activity".

Some meteors could appear streaking across the sky for several seconds, leaving a trail of glowing smoke in their wake. No special equipment is needed, but if you want the best view, it helps to be as far from artificial light as possible.

Thankfully for United Kingdom watchers, this particular meteor shower favours the northern hemisphere - so we're in a prime spot to witness it.

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