In just a few days from now, the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower will light up the night sky in a dazzling spectacle of thousands of shooting stars.
For many astronomers, the Perseids are the most popular meteor shower of the year. Last year was an outburst year, where we witnessed the incredible sight of between 150 and 200 meteors dashed across the sky in a single hour.
This year, sky watchers won't be disappointed as they can still enjoy up about 80 meteors an hour sparkling across the horizon in the heavens above.
Find out when and where you can go to enjoy this beautiful night spectacle!
The best time to see the see this stunning meteor shower will be at it's peak on August 12. The Earth will pass through the densest, dustiest area of the path of Comet Swift-Tuttle.
This is when you'll see the most meteors in the shortest amount of time. In the days leading up to and after August 12, you'll still get a good glimpse of these falling rocks, but sightings may be fewer and farther between.
Fair warning though, this year, you'll have to contend with the moon.
At the meteor shower's peak, the moon will be about three-quarters full. On August 12, the moon will rise late - around 11 p.m., so you'll get some natural light interference. It could be more difficult to see the meteors.
The best advice, from the experts at NASA, is to drive out to a dark sky reserve and set up camp. You'll want to wait until a few hours before dawn to get the darkest sky possible. Then, watch the magic happen!
Anyone living in the northern hemisphere should look up to the north-east area of the sky - you're bound to spot the light show if you're patient enough.
Remember it takes about 30 minutes for your eyes to fully adjust to the dark, so you should really start to see things within about 45 minutes of star gazing.
Here are five of the best places to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower between Nevada and California:
- Any of the National Parks and Forests
- Joshua Tree, California
- Borrego Springs California
- Lake Tahoe, Sierra Nevada Mountains
- Great Basin National Park - on the eastern edge of Nevada