Perseids meteor shower 2018: Facts about stunning light show TONIGHT

Comet Perseid Meteor Shower

Comet Perseid Meteor Shower

Reaching its peak visibility this weekend, a number of eager stargazers were dazzled by last night's (11 August) astronomical show, where a number of handsome shooting stars and green lights lit up the sky.

The Perseids have presented a scintillating display for 2,000 years, according to NASA.

"The moonless sky this year means the viewing will be excellent, and the shower's predicted peak is timed especially well for North America", Diana Hannikainen, Sky & Telescope magazine's observing editor, said in a statement. The ice and dust, accumulating over a thousand years, burn up in our atmosphere to create the meteor shower. Entering the atmosphere at high speed, the friction they create as they pass through causes the air around the meteor to heat up dramatically, resulting in a characteristic brief bright streak of light. 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).

Due to the movement of the Earth and the position of the Swift-Tuttle's orbit of debris, all "shooting stars" seem to come from the same place in the sky, the Perseus constellation, hence its other name. 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. "But at least 10 to 20 an hour is a safe bet".

The best views of the Perseids in Sweden will be in the south of the country, according to website Populär Astronomi. The days after the peak will also provide nice, dark skies as well!

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

And you don't need to be an astronomer to get a good view.

If you live in an urban area, you might want to take a drive to avoid city lights, which can make the meteor shower seem faint.

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