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11th Aug 2016

There’s going to be spectacular meteor shower tonight, so here’s how to see it

The greatest show on earth.


The Perseid Meteor Shower will burst into life later tonight and into the early hours.

Of course, some of you will have been planning for this event for ages, but for the rest of us – those who wouldn’t know their Perseid from their Persil – here’s what you need to know.

According to Nasa, the Perseid shooting stars show up every year in August “when Earth ventures through trails of debris left behind by an ancient comet”.

This year, we may be in for a closer encounter than usual with the comet trails that result in meteor shower.

“Forecasters are predicting a Perseid outburst this year with double normal rates on the night of August 11-12,” said Bill Cooke of NASA’s Meteoroid Environments Office. “Under perfect conditions, rates could soar to 200 meteors per hour.”

The last time we had Perseid outbursts like this was 2009, so make the most of it.

The good news is that if you want to take in the show, you don’t need any fancy equipment – just your eyes will do fine.

The advice is to keep an eye on the sky from around 10.30pm tonight (Thursday), and, if you’re not much of a sleeper, to keep watching until about 4.30am.

Nasa says the best way to see the Perseids is “to go outside, allow about 45 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark. Lie on your back and look straight up.”

You can get more viewing tips in this video:

You’ll also be able to watch it on Nasa’s U-Stream below (or click for it here).