There will be about 100 shooting stars per hour.

By Nashia Baker
August 10, 2020

Looking up at the stars is one way to enjoy the beauty that night brings, and this week, you can gaze up in the night sky and witness an out-of-this-world sight: a meteor shower. According to The Daily Mail, the Earth will experience the Perseid meteor shower at its peak with about 100 shooting stars every hour as the planet makes its way through remaining debris from the Swift-Tuttle comet.

perseids meteor shower behind a tree in the night sky
Credit: Getty / Gabriel Gonzalez (noctografia) / 500px

While this meteor shower began in mid-July, you'll be able to see the most celestial action when the Earth goes through most of the debris from August 11 through August 13. Expect to see these meteors—which are mainly around the size of a grain of sand—when they burn from hitting the atmosphere at about 36 miles per second and resemble a stream of light.

As for why these shooting stars are called Perseids? They appear to come from the constellation, Perseus, and are able to be viewed with just your eyes—no fancy equipment necessary—no matter where you are located in the world. This meteor shower should start peaking at 12:30 a.m. eastern time on August 11—the places with the best views including the United States, Europe, and Canada.

Bill Cooke, head of the Meteoroid Environments Office at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), said that one of the easiest ways to take in the views of the meteors is to "go outside, find a nice dark spot, lie flat on your back, and look up." He adds: "You don't want binoculars. You don't want a telescope. You just use your eyes." And if you simply would like to take a picture, he recommends taking a long exposure shot from either a few seconds to a minute and keeping the camera steady.


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