How to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower in the Northwest this weekend

Perseid meteor shower 2018

The Perseid meteor shower is happening and Space.com says the shower will peak during overnight hours as Aug. 11 turns into Aug. 12 and again overnight on Aug. 12-13.

NASA explained: "While observing this month, not all of the meteors you'll see belong to the Perseid meteor shower". Three years later, an Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaperelli identified the comet as the origin of the Perseid meteor shower.

The Perseids are coming this weekend, but we're waiting too see whether the weather will play ball. Records of the meteor shower date back nearly 2,000 years.

Even though this may be somewhat of a down year, the Perseids still typically are one of the best meteor shows of the year. Best of all, constellations and the Milky Way should be highly visible due to a New Moon on August 11, meaning there will not be as much light to drown out the stars.

While you'll get the best meteor rates in a rural area, far from light pollution, you still might be able to see some meteors from a city or suburb.

Just bear in mind you will not see as many shooting stars this early as you would during the peak.

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Perseids radiate from and are named after an upside down "V" shaped constellation called Perseus.

Meteor showers occur when Earth passes through the trail of dusty debris left behind by comets - in this case Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle. Along with the showers, there's also a chance stargazers will catch a view of the Milky Way stretching from the south, along with Saturn and Mars. The comet is the largest object known to repeatedly careen by Earth, with a nucleus of 16 miles wide. Some of the best local dark skies are found in the Horse Heaven Hills and foothills of the Blue Mountains.

A tent stands out against the starlit sky during the Perseid meteor shower on August 14, 2016 in Terlingua, Texas. Scientists from NASA also said that camping out in the country can triple the amount of visible meteors.

NASA scientists advise that although they can be seen any time after 10 p.m., the best time to spot a flurry of meteors will be during the darkest part of the night, in the early hours before dawn, from 11 p.m.to first light.

The comet whose tail creates the Perseus shower is called 109P/Swift-Tuttle, and is named after the US astronomers Lewis Swift and Horace Tuttle, who discovered it in 1862.

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