Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
Research | By Jennifer Evans

What you need to know to see this weekend's big meteor shower

"The Perseids are perhaps the most popular meteor shower because they're a summer watching event when people are often more relaxed, kids don't have to be up early for school, and the weather is so much more accommodating than in the colder fall or winter months", Dr. Jacqueline Faherty, an astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History, tells TIME.

Time: Watch the spectacle between midnight and dawn on the morning of August 12. and between midnight and dawn on the morning of August 13. Consequently, viewers are in for an especially bright show. Best of all, the slender waxing crescent moon will set at early evening, providing deliciously dark skies for this year's Perseid meteors.

The Perseid meteor shower has been taking place since mid-July, but will hit its peak this coming weekend.

Muscat: The Sultanate is now witnessing the Perseids, which are the most famous meteor showers. And conditions for viewing the meteors will be next to flawless this year. "You can look anywhere you want to-even directly overhead", explained Jones. "Peak rates will be just before dawn". "The Perseids will put on a great show".

"Under cloudless skies, from a dark site, observers can expect to see between 40 and 60 meteors each hour near the peak".

Meteor showers are typically visible with the naked eye, and so no special equipment is needed (Photo: Shutterstock)How regular will the meteors be?

Why does a meteor shower occur?

The Perseid shower is named after the constellation of Perseus. 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.

But the most spectacular long-lasting meteors, known as "Earthgrazers", can be seen when the radiant is still low above the horizon. If stargazers miss the show on Saturday, they also can look for it again beginning at about 11 p.m. on Sunday night.

This year the shower is aided by the darkened August New Moon lunar phase.

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