Perseid meteor shower: Where to watch space spectacle peak THIS WEEK despite supermoon

Perseid meteor shower: ESA capture peak of event

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One of the most spectacular light shows for meteor hunters and sky watchers every year, the Perseids meteor shower is set to peak this year in the early hours of 13 August. The dazzling event was caused by the Earth’s atmosphere colliding with debris left behind by comet Swift-Tuttle. This year, however, the presence of the last supermoon of the year on August 11, could make viewing on that day a bit tricker.

Despite this, stargazers still have a good chance of enjoying a beautiful meteor on Saturday, and the days before it.

What is the Perseid meteor shower?

The Perseid meteor shower has been observed for more than 2,000 years and occurs every time the Earth passes through the orbit of the Swift-Tuttle.

As comets orbit closer to the Sun, they heat up, which causes parts to break off.

According to the Royal Museums Greenwich (RMG), if this debris (meteors) fall into the Earth’s path around the Sun, it can hurtle through our atmosphere at speeds of around seven to 45 miles per second.

RMG said: “The smaller meteors vaporise and leave behind a bright trail of light”, while “the larger meteors can explode as fireballs”.

How to see the Perseid meteor shower tonight

According to the Perseids will peak on the night of Friday, August 12, and into the early hours of Saturday, August 13.

However, the brightness of the Full Moon will make it more difficult to see the shooting stars.

During this yearly peak, stargazers can witness 60 to 100 meteors per hour.

Fortunately, you won’t have to travel too far to see it, as you can see the shower from wherever you are, providing weather conditions are favourable.

RMG said: “Meteors can appear in any part of the sky so the more sky you can see, the better.”

The weather forecast is a key deciding factor on how clearly you’ll be able to see the shower.

If it’s predicted to be cloudy and rainy, you could consider travelling to a different location.

But given that the shower is expected to continue for a few weeks, you also just head out on a different day.

RMG also advises reducing the amount of light pollution near you by heading to the countryside, or a park, or even turning your back to street lamps.

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Unfortunately, the shower will not be as visible due to the presence of a full moon.

Tomorrow, August 11, the last supermoon of the year will rise as autumn approaches.

A supermoon refers to when the Moon is at its nearest to it closest point to Earth, which is known as a perigee.

The Sturgeon Moon, which will appear at around 02:36 AM BST on Friday, will come within 90 percent of the perigee.

According to, supermoons can appear larger and up to 16 percent brighter in the sky than the average full moon.

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