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Perseid Meteor Shower and Startrails

It is possible to see the shower around the world.

A man is Berkin Tuncar.

One of the best places to view the Perseid meteor shower is in the United States. It will be difficult to see this year because of a bright moon in the night sky, but there is still a good chance of seeing shooting stars in the early hours of 13 August and the days before.

What is the Perseid meteor shower?

Clouds of debris left in the wake of comets are the cause of the shower. A flash that moves across the sky is caused by the tiny grains of dust or rock entering the atmosphere at high speeds.

Swift-Tuttle is a comet that takes 133 years to travel around the sun. The comet won't be seen again until 2125. We can see the display that was left behind.

Why is it called the Perseid meteor shower?

The shower is named after the point in the sky where the meteorites appear to start. The constellation is called the Perseids. The best displays of the Perseids can be found in the north. Depending on where you are, the constellation sits in the middle of a triangle formed by the W and M shaped stars. The right part of the sky is where you can see any of these.

Where should you look for the Perseids?

Don't worry about finding Perseus, just look out for meteors, which will shoot across the sky in all directions. They will move quickly across the sky. There are fireballs that look like Venus if you are lucky.

What’s the best time to look for the Perseids?

There is a good chance of seeing the shooting stars in the days after the shower peaks. Try to look at any clear night this week. It's a good idea to look before the peak. It's best to look after midnight wherever you are.

How can you increase your chances of seeing the meteor shower?

You don't have to go into the middle of nowhere to see meteorites, but you can reduce the light pollution around you. Go to the middle of the park or away from the street lights. If you are viewing at home, turn off all your lights and look for a view with few obstructions.

What effect will Friday’s full moon have?

The moon can obscure the view of a shower. With a full moon on August 12th, there will be less than 100 meteors visible per hour.

Read about space and star-gazing from an astronomer at New Scientist.

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