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

Perseid meteor shower comet hit earth dinosaurs

REUTERS WIPEOUT A gravitational nudge could result in it plunging towards Earth

Perseid peaks on a Moonless summer night from 4 p.m. EST on August 12 (today) until 4 a.m. EST on August 13 (Monday).

According to NASA the Perseids have danced across the sky every year for 2,000 years.

This year's Perseid meteor shower promises to be one of the best for stargazers as a new Moon bringing darker skies means night time conditions are optimum for this potentially catastrophic cosmic event.

Our atmosphere then burns up the ice and dust in the debris creating a meteor shower.

The particles reach high speeds when entering Earth's atmosphere and disintegrate on their way to the ground, leaving a trace of light. And if you thought the video above looked lovely, you'll be pleased to know that the meteor shower will hit peak visibility tonight (12 August).

The meteor shower gained its name from the Perseus constellation - which is the area in space the meteors fly away from. This year the most visible days are projected to be August 11-13, and NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke says the US can expect to see as many as 60 to 70 meteors per hour during the shower's peak.

The meteors themselves are traveling at 132,000 miles per hour, which creates their vivid streaks of light.

The comet itself will come extremely close to Earth in a "near-miss" in 2126. No special equipment is needed, but if you want the best view, it helps to be as far from artificial light as possible. While visibility will be better in the countryside, the meteor shower will also be observable from towns and cities.

And don't forget to grab your camera before you head out.

The Virtual Telescope Project will be streaming a view of the Perseid meteor shower on Sunday from the Castel Santa Maria in Italy's Perugia province, where the community is restoring the 16th-century church that has been damaged by several earthquakes.

Altre Notizie