The Perseid meteor shower is going to be fantastic this weekend

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But the shooting stars have only just began to build in intensity and will soon burst into the night skies in full glory between the night of Sunday, August 12, and the morning of Monday, August 13.

The Perseids appear at about this time every year when Earth ventures through pieces of debris left behind by the ancient comet Swift-Tuttle.

The comet has a 133-year orbit, last visiting our part of the solar system back in 1992 (hence the big meteor show back in the 90s). "Comets and asteroids leave tiny bits of themselves in the orbital path that they take around the sun".

During this brief window, the planet interacts with the so-called Perseid cloud - a cloud of particles, meteoroids and broken off space rock.

This year's Perseid meteor shower will be highly visible both Saturday and Sunday night, giving watchers ample opportunity to spot plenty of shooting stars. This year, the Perseids will peak at 50-70 meteors per hour.

Meteors streak across the night sky during the Orionid meteor shower on October 23, 2016.

Active Junky, which is also the sister site of Space.com, has provided a list of the nation's top cities, and the best places they can go to watch the meteor show.

With a new moon providing an extra-dark backdrop to the spectacle, the shooting stars will be brighter than ever.

However, you can also catch the odd meteor before and after these dates.

Individual Perseid meteors have already been spotted as early as July 16 but the best is yet to come this weekend.

The best nights to follow the fall of such meteors will be 11th, 12th and 13th of August 2018.

They should start whizzing across the sky before midnight, but the best displays will be in the hours before dawn. During that optimum period you could see between 60 and 100 meteors per hour.

"Even in towns or cities observed rates may still be around 10 to 20 an hour in the early morning hours when the radiant is high". Your rooftop may not be the best solution, especially if you're in downtown (you need to get as far away from light pollution as possible).

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