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Perseid meteor shower 2017: All you need to know

Perseid meteor shower 2017: All you need to know

The astronomical event, which is perhaps the most popular meteor shower of the year, will peak at 1PM ET (6PM in the UK) on 12 August.

The Perseid shower's actual peak is expected to take place around 1 p.m. EDT on 12th of August.

A meteor from the Perseid Meteor Shower is seen over a farm near Tonganoxie, Kan. on august 13, 2015. They hit our atmosphere at a distance of 50 to 75 miles with a speed that can be 25,000 or even 160,000 miles per hour.

The good news about this year's Perseid meteor shower is that astronomers from NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office are forecasting that it will be better than usual!

The Perseids are bits and pieces of cosmic dust and debris left in the orbital path of Comet Swift-Tuttle. Their forecast was right, and at the shower's peak, some skywatchers saw over 200 meteors per hour!

"Tonight thousands of meteors will dance like champagne bubbles in the summer sky, pale sparks timid as snowflakes will shower the earth, and a heavenly fireworks display as wondrously holy as a human heartbeat will bloom in the hush of the vast cosmos".

The weekend will be showered with 150 meteors per hour, so imagine how many will be lighting the sky in 3 nights!

But the moon will not fully rise until around 11pm on Sunday, giving viewers plenty of time to observe the dark skies. "Looking outside, you would see something like 20 to 30 meteors per second", he wrote.

Swift-Tuttle is a periodic comet that orbits the planet roughly every 133 years.

To make the most of the night, viewers are advised to go to a dark area as far away as possible from urban centres.

Meteors - colloquially referred to as shooting stars - will be recognised by the untrained eye as thin streaks of light that dart fleetingly across the sky; blink, and you miss them. Instead, bring along a blanket or a lawn chair, so you can sit or lie down, and look straight up in to the night sky.

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