Map shows best places to watch weekend meteor shower

The spectacular Perseids meteor shower

One of 2018's best astronomical events, it is expected to dazzle the night sky on Saturday and Sunday night, with as many as 100 shooting stars an hour at its peak.

The Perseids reach their peak in the early hours of August 13 when up to 70 per hour should be visible.

The Perseids have presented a scintillating display for 2,000 years, according to NASA. This year is going to be especially striking because of the new moon, painting the flawless backdrop for the late-summer nature show.

Meteors are parts of rock and dust that hit the Earth's atmosphere, heat up and glow. And if you thought the video above looked handsome, you'll be pleased to know that the meteor shower will hit peak visibility tonight (12 August).

The shooting stars will appear to come from a single point, or "radiant", situated in the constellation Perseus, that climbs higher as the night progresses. This year the most visible days are projected to be August 11-13, and NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke says the US can expect to see as many as 60 to 70 meteors per hour during the shower's peak.

Patience is key. It can take up to 45 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark for optimal viewing.

The Perseid meteor shower is one of the most reliable showers year-after-year with Comet Swift-Tuttle being in orbit for thousands of years.

Lucky observers may see the occasional meteor sailing across the sky for several seconds, leaving behind a trail of glowing smoke.

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.

And you don't need to be an astronomer to get a good view. Scientists from NASA also said that camping out in the country can triple the amount of visible meteors. You can look anywhere you want to-even directly overhead. Meteor showers are a great opportunity for time-lapse videos and long-exposure photography, allowing your shots of the night sky to turn into van Gogh-like paintings of this starry spectacle.

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