Brighter moon takes sheen off Perseids show

Perseids from the Nevada Desert in the US

Getty OTHER WORLDLY The breathtaking view of the Perseids from the Nevada Desert in the US

The first total eclipse of the sun in 99 years that will cover parts of the nation from the Pacific to Atlantic is on August 21, but for space buffs, tonight brings a different kind of awe.

In the United Kingdom, it will peak at around 11.05pm on Saturday 12 August and should be visible from most areas.

In August of 2018, the Perseid meteor shower will be pretty incredible, as the peak night for seeing it will coincide with a new moon. The space agency stated that they are expecting 150 meteors per hour, which is 10 times smaller than the Leonid meteor storms of the late 1990s and early 2000s.

But experts have warned that with the moon at three-quarters full, it may make it harder this year to spot the meteors as they fly past.

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A meteor shower is in fact small chunk of a single, large comet falling into Earth's atmosphere. This shower is a yearly occurrence, as Earth passes through the Swift-Tuttle's tail of debris, we get an action-packed show of space dust.

Jebel Shams and Jebel Akhdar are the best places to watch the shower because of the low rate of light pollution and clear sky-view without any urban light pollution. In fact, the meteors which we see nearly certainly broke off from Swift-Tuttle during its 1862 visit and not the 1992 visit. Still, the chance to see at least one meteor every other minute is pretty cool, so find some time Saturday night or Sunday morning to suss it out.

The brightest meteor stream will be a few hours before dawn. If you're able to catch sight of the Perseids before moonrise around 11:30 p.m., you could see as many as 80 shooting stars per hour.

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