This Is the Best Time to Watch the Perseid Meteor Shower

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The best time to see the meteor shower's peak locally is late Sunday night / very early Monday morning.

The Perseid meteor shower begins in late July and runs through mid-August, but this year the peak rates are expected to occur late on the night of Sunday, Aug. 12, and into the early morning hours of Monday, Aug. 13, though both nights on either side of that date should also offer good opportunities. But you don't have to look that direction to see the show - the meteors can appear anywhere in the sky overhead.

Because it's in a new phase, the moon won't be up and the night sky will be darker, said Bruce Twarog, a University of Kansas professor with the department of physics and astronomy.

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Cooke recommends steering clear of bright city lights in order to get the best view. That's when the peak will start to build as Earth drifts through the most dense part of a cloud of cosmic debris left behind by Comet Swift-Tuttle, which passes by our planet and the sun once every 133 years.

Since the Perseids always show up in August, they often coincide with warm summer nights - ideal weather for viewing if you can avoid rain or clouds and get to a dark spot.

"Preparations have been finalised where visitors can lay back and relax to watch the complete Perseid Meteor Shower from our desert Majlis setting, without the need or use of any special equipment or telescopes, though visitors are free to choose whether or not to bring one", said Alsuwaidi. In those cases they can actually predict that when the Earth passes through the orbital path of the comet there will be a higher than average debris field. He added that it takes at least 30 minutes for human eyes to adjust, so be patient and that you can expect to be outdoors for a few hours. "You'll want to look northeast".

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The Perseids are so-called because the point from which they appear, known as the radiant, lies in the constellation of Perseus.

Every summer, Earth ploughs through this thick trail (this year, it entered the trail on July 17, and it will exit on August 24), allowing some of the comet's ancient debris to enter and burn up in our planet's atmosphere.

If you're interested in the best possible views of the show should set up shop somewhere dark-with no light pollution or large buildings-where much of the sky is visible. The longer you're outside in the dark, the better your vision of the meteors will be.

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