It's meteor madness this weekend

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Late Sunday night to early Monday morning will mark the peak of the annual Perseid meteor shower, arguably the most popular and dramatic meteor shower around.

The shower peaks on tonight, 12 August, but will be visible for a day or two either side.

And if your view is obscured by weather or clouds this weekend, the Perseids are visible for several nights afterward. This year is going to be especially striking because of the new moon, painting the flawless backdrop for the late-summer nature show.

The Perseids have presented a scintillating display for 2,000 years, according to NASA. The ice and dust, accumulating over a thousand years, burn up in our atmosphere to create the meteor shower.

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The best way to catch the shower is by travelling out of the city (if you aren't already) to a quiet spot not affected by light pollution. But the most spectacular long-lasting meteors, known as "Earthgrazers", can be seen when the radiant is still low above the horizon.

While the earth passes through the comet's debris field every year, Swift-Tuttle itself is not expected to pass the earth again until 2126.

Whilst meteors can be seen on any night, at certain times of the year their numbers drastically increase.

Patience is key. It can take up to 45 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark for optimal viewing. Peak temperatures can reach as much as 10,000F (5,537F) as they speed across the sky.

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Some meteors only have faint, quick streaks.

Lucky observers may see the occasional meteor sailing across the sky for several seconds, leaving behind a trail of glowing smoke. Or head to the North Cascades, overlooking famously turquoise Diablo Lake near Colonial Creek South Campground. There is also a parade of planets visible!

This is typically one of the best meteor showers viewable from Missouri.

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