Hope for clear skies in Cumbria for glimpse of meteor shower

Stargazers set for spectacular treat this weekend

NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke told Space.com that the Perseids are one of the most popular meteor showers of the year; and in 2018, they'll be the best shower of the year.

Reaching its peak visibility this weekend, a number of eager stargazers were dazzled by last night's (11 August) astronomical show, where a number of lovely shooting stars and green lights lit up the sky.

The Perseids reach their peak in the early hours of August 13 when up to 70 per hour should be visible. This year is going to be especially striking because of the new moon, painting the flawless backdrop for the late-summer nature show.

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Moonless nights will make the spectacle of the annual Perseid meteor shower even more scintillating this weekend for much of the world, and sky watchers are expecting a "great show".

Tiny pieces of debris that are around the size of sand grains hit the earth's atmosphere at around 132,000 miles per hour, causing a fantastical meteor shower each year.

As is always the case with these kind of celestial events, they'll be enjoyed much more away from heavily populated areas, as the light pollution of large cities and towns will bleach out the darkness of the sky.

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Here are some facts about the Perseid meteor shower.

The shooting stars will appear to come from a single point, or "radiant", situated in the constellation Perseus, that climbs higher as the night progresses. The days after the peak will also provide nice, dark skies as well! No special equipment is needed, but if you want the best view, it helps to be as far from artificial light as possible. This year the most visible days are projected to be August 11-13, and NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke says the US can expect to see as many as 60 to 70 meteors per hour during the shower's peak.

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