Here's how to see the Perseid meteor shower this weekend

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If a family group are viewing (a great idea) each person should keep their own count and not include meteors seen by others if they did not see them for themselves.

This year we're really lucky that the peak is occurring on the same part of the month as the new moon, so there's very little moonlight out.

Cooke recommends steering clear of bright city lights in order to get the best view. And if you're intrepid enough to travel to a dark sky park, here are some of the absolute best in the United States.

The shower's peak will be visible the nights of August 11-12 and August 12-13. So most of the shower activity and thicker cloud cover should stay to our south and east.

That means the weekend should be favorable for stargazing.

You can watch the meteor shower on the Virtual Telescope Project's website starting from August 12.

The comet that left the Perseid meteor stream is a piece of dirty ice about 26km in diameter called 109P/Swift-Tuttle.

Herstmonceux Observatory is holding an Open Evening on Friday August 10 to coincide with the Perseids meteor shower. "Remember, you don't have to look directly at the constellation to see them". The ice and dust, accumulating over a thousand years, burn up in our atmosphere to create the meteor shower. The days around the peak, especially August 11 and 13, also tend to have good viewing. The Comet Swift-Tuttle is known as the single most risky object known to humanity.

When observed from the Earth the meteors only appear to be bursting out from the constellation but in reality the Perseus has no bearing on the Swift-Tuttle debris.

This weekend, Twarog is anticipating a slightly higher debris field.

Get more weather updates via social media here. This is idea - if we had a full moon or close to a full moon, the bright moonlight would make it much more hard to spot the tiny streaks of light streaming across the sky. Fewer but longer-tailed meteors are commonly seen skipping across the Earth's atmosphere when looking toward the southern sky.

Some meteors only have faint, quick streaks.

In full flow, the spectacular display could produce up to 70 "shooting stars" an hour.

"They are basically rocks", he said.

Watch for a central point at which most meteors will appear to originate from. Find a comfortable spot with as a wide a view of the night sky as possible, preferably away from light pollution, and just relax, lie back and look up.

"It's just attractive", Twarog said.

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