Don't miss the meteor shower

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The best summertime meteor shower - the Perseids - will be coming to a sky near you this coming weekend, weather permitting.

For skywatchers in the northern hemisphere, experts recommend watching for the meteor shower after 10 pm local time, but it will be at its best during the early hours of dawn. And conditions for viewing the meteors will be next to flawless this year.

At best, a typical Perseid meteor shower produces 80 to a few hundred meteors per hour.

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This year's shower lasts from July 14 to August 24, but it reaches its peak from 4 p.m. ET on August 12 through 4 a.m. ET on August 13, according to NASA JPL.

The Perseid Meteor Shower is caused by the dust and debris trailing the Swift-Tuttle comet, which orbits the sun approximately every 133 years.

When is the best time to see them? And even though there won't be as many shooting stars as in past years - in 2016, for example, there were as many as 200 visible meteors per hour - there will still be a boatload this weekend, with as many as 60 to 70 meteors per hour during its peak, Cooke told Space.com. However, it's important to set an alarm clock, because the meteor shower occurs while most people are sleeping.

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If you want to catch the Perseids in all their glory, a drive to the darkest place near your home should suffice. For the best viewing, make sure you get away from city lights. The Slooh observatory will host a livestream of the shower starting at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday. This creates the meteor shower, or the appearance of "shooting stars".

"A meteor shower is a collision between the Earth and the trail of a comet or an asteroid", Dr. Faherty says. 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.

As the particles, ranging in size from a grain of sand to a pea, hit the Earth's atmosphere at 37 miles per second, they burn up and streak across the sky. Mars and Saturn will also be visible at different points.

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When is the next meteor shower?

That means the meteors' fireballs and tails should look spectacular on a practically moonless night.

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