Perseids Meteor Shower Best Opportunity for 2016

At its peak, more than 60 meteors an hour are expected.

The impressive Perseid meteor shower display, known is Croatia as "Tears of St. Lawrence", is considered to be one of the most spectacular celestial displays.

That debris stream intersects and passes through the earth's orbit at one place, so every year, on or about August 11, the earth passes through that intersection and through the debris stream. The meteor shower will continue to rage on right through August 24.

The good news is that the best place to spot the Perseids is in the Northern hemisphere.

"Normally you'd expect to see a shooting star every ten minutes in a dark rural sky and less in towns and cities, but we could be seeing two or three if we're lucky", Mr Moore said.

The meteors come from the comet Swift-Tuttle, which was discovered by astronomers Lewis Swift and Horace P. Tuttle in 1862. At this speed, even little bits of dust can create a nice bright streak of light when they collide with our atmosphere.

A meteor seen during a Perseids meteor shower 2015.

The best time to see the Perseids shower is on the evening of Thursday August 11 and into the morning of Friday August 12 when there will be up to 200 meteors an hour.

This year, the night sky is expected to be especially active, as the Earth passes through more of Swift-Tuttle's trail than normal, according to NASA.

The bright moon washes out some of the meteors so the best time to look for them will be after moonset.

Though the shower gets its name from the constellation Perseus, which appears in the northeast, the meteors should be visible in all areas of the sky.

This year's meteors "are from comet flybys that occurred hundreds if not thousands of years ago", Cooke said. Both are free and open to the public, but space is limited, so get there early (the parties begin at 9 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 12).

If you are in area with too much light pollution or it is a cloudy night, or you just want to stay in bed, all is not lost.

Here's everything you need to know about viewing the meteor shower.

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