Look Up! The Perseid Meteor Shower Is Happening This Weekend

Perseid Meteor Shower 2018

The Mleiha Archaeological and Eco-tourism Project in Sharjah has geared up its preparation for the Perseid Meteor Shower, scheduled to light the UAE skies on Sunday from 8pm to 1am.

"Combine these ideal observing conditions and high rates - an average of 60 meteors per hour at the peak - with the fact that the best nights for viewing - August 11 to 12 and August 12 to 13 - occur on a weekend and you have a recipe for successfully viewing some celestial fireworks".

-Escape from city lights and find a nice, dark spot, so you'll be able to see the fainter meteors, Cooke said.

Where are the best places to go to see the Perseid meteor shower?

This year's shower will be putting on its best display for those in Europe, but as it's peak last so long, from the 11th to 12th, it should also put on a spectacular display for the U.S. and elsewhere in the northern hemisphere.

The comet that left the Perseid meteor stream is a piece of dirty ice about 26km in diameter called 109P/Swift-Tuttle. Records of the meteor shower date back nearly 2,000 years.

This Perseid meteor shower will take place during a almost new moon-meaning it won't interfere with the show-and is expected to be the best meteor shower this year.

The moon will be in its crescent, "new moon", shape, and will set before the shower stars.

That's way more than on a typical night, when just a handful of meteors per hour whiz by, according to NASA.

Consequently, viewers are in for an especially bright show. Hopefully, clear skies will allow for the best viewing. Planets like Mars and Saturn will also be visible during this time, until about 4 a.m. local time for the Red Planet and 2 a.m. local time for Saturn. The Perseids are part of the 16-mile comet Swift-Tuttle's trail of dust, and they're named after the constellation Perseus, according to the American Meteor Society.

Cooke said the first shooting stars will appear around 10:30 p.m. local time on August 12 and will come with increasing frequency as the night progresses.

Perseids meteor shower 2018: What is it?

Capturing the fleeting light show requires some luck as meteors quickly strike through the starry skies. "When the sun is close to the comet and the Earth is passing through the orbit you get a much bigger result", Twarog said.

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