How to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower in the Northwest this weekend

The number of Perseids zipping across the sky should increase steadily through the night, peaking just before sunrise.

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.

In certain years (such as 2016), the Perseid shooting star count can rise up to about 200 meteors every hour. You can tell if a meteor is a Perseid by following its direction backwards and, if it's coming from the direction of Perseus, it's a Perseid.

The shower that we see from Earth is the little bits of ice and dust - that are usually no bigger than a pea - hitting the Earth's atmosphere at a staggering 134,000 miles per hour.

At the meteor shower's speak on the night of August 12, you can expect to see between 60 to 70 meteors every hour.

The moon won't be making an appearance this weekend, instead about 50 meteorites per hour will light up the sky offering star gazers a dazzling show between midnight and dawn.

On those special years when Earth, Jupiter and the Swift-Tuttle cloud are all relatively near one another, Earth is treated to anextra-special Perseid shower.

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When is the best time to see them?

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.

People can view the meteors streaming across the sky anywhere away from downtown Lawrence. "Comets and asteroids leave tiny bits of themselves in the orbital path that they take around the sun".

"The dunes at Mleiha, especially around Al Faya Mountain and The Fossil Rock, offer a secluded experience for visitors and sky watchers who look forward to create great memories out of this opportunity".

While this weekend is the peak, Twarog predicts the showers will last through August 24.

When is the next meteor shower?

However the spectacular meteor shower also has biblical connotations. Stargazers won't need to look at any particular point in the sky to catch a glimpse of a shooting meteor.

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