One of the year's most active meteor showers is set to peak tonight, and with a new moon approaching soon, the night sky will be perfect for spotting shooting stars.
The Perseid Meteor Shower can produce up to 100 meteors an hour on particularly active years. We are set to see the peak overnight. While they will be visible from sunset, the best hours arrive between midnight and 05:30 a.m.
The radiant will appear from the Perseus constellation. After midnight, the Earth will have rotated to face the shower offering the most and brightest shooting stars.
Tips for stargazing
For the best chance to see a meteor, find a dark area away from light pollution. Ideally in the countryside away from towns.
Specks of dust create the show
The nocturnal celestial spectacle is caused by the dust plume of the Comet Swift-Tuttle, which passes the earth every year in August.
When the dust particles, which are only millimeters in size, hit the upper layers of the Earth's atmosphere at a speed of 37 miles per second, they are abruptly slowed down and heated to white heat.
The particles then burn up in fractions of a second and paint their luminous trail on the night sky.
This constellation can be seen after dark in the northeast sky. The constellation Cassiopeia above Perseus helps with orientation. However, the shooting stars can also spread all over the sky.