One of the most spectacular meteor showers, the Perseids are estimated to peak between August 10-12 with an unusually high rate of meteors hitting the atmosphere this year, sokszinuvidek.24.hu reports.

The Perseid meteor shower can be observed from mid-July, but they will peak on the night of August 12 with as many as 150-200 “shooting stars” per hour. This is twice the usual rate, and promises a spectacular viewing experience. For the best view, find a dark spot away from the light pollution of cities. Give your eyes some time to adjust to the darkness, and watch from midnight until dawn.

Since the meteor shower peaks around mid-August, it is also traditionally called the “Tears of St Lawrence”, after Lawrence of Rome who died on August 10, 258.

perseids-meteor-stars-sky

[box type=”shadow”] According to nasa.gov, the Perseid meteors are pieces of debris left by the Swift-Tuttle comet which orbits the sun every 133 years. As Earth travels through this debris, the particles hit the atmosphere and burn up at the speed of 59 kilometres per second, appearing on the night sky as streaks of light. The outburst in meteors this year is due to Jupiter’s gravity pulling the dust trail closer into Earth’s orbit. The last outburst occurred in 2009. The Perseids are named after the constellation Perseus, and they are primarily visible in the Northern Hemisphere.[/box]

Copy editor: bm

Source: sokszinuvidek.24.hu; nasa.gov

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