Perseid meteor shower set to peak this weekend

An outburst of Perseid meteors lights up the sky in August 2009 in this time-lapse image

An outburst of Perseid meteors lights up the sky in August 2009 in this time-lapse image

If you're in the Northern Hemisphere, you should be able to spot the meteors in the northeastern sky.

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Meteor enthusiasts in Chicago have two factors working against them: the bright city lights and the moon, which will be shining in its crescent form this weekend when the meteor shower passes by. The name comes from fact that the meteors appear to shoot out from the Perseus constellation.

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However, it's important to set an alarm clock, because the meteor shower occurs while most people are sleeping. If you happen to have trouble sleeping on Sunday night (August 12), that's a ideal time to step outside.

A clear sky could make way for an incredible natural show of streaking fireball meteors and so far, (as of Friday afternoon) the forecast is looking ideal!

The summertime meteor shower, the Perseid, is set to peak August 11, 12 and 13.

The Perseid meteor shower will illuminate Qatar sky from Saturday evening until Monday dawn, Qatar Calendar House (QCH) has announced. Though already underway, as Earth moves further into a cloud of debris left from Comet Swift-Tuttle, which last passed us in 1992 and should stop by again in 2126, the number of meteors will quickly ramp up.

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Just lean back and observe as much sky overhead as possible. The debris, made up mostly of ice and dust that has accumulated over thousands of years, creates a meteor shower when it burns through Earth's atmosphere.

The shower will be visible all over the United Kingdom, as long as the skies are clear.

The Perseid meteor shower is an annual event. Because of this, meteor rates could be as high as 200 per hour.

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Perseid meteor travel at 132,000 mph, or over 36 miles per second. According to NASA's website, this weekend promises dark nights due to diminished moonlight from the new moon, bringing "some of the better skies" to view the cosmic spectacle. But anytime after 10 p.m. on August 12 should be fine. "In December, you have the Geminids, which have more meteors per hour, but it's pretty cold and people don't want to go out and see them at that point", said Hendershot.

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