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Perseid meteor shower: how to see hundreds of shooting stars tonight

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Megan Murray
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The Perseid meteor shower means there’ll be hundreds of shooting stars flying across the sky tonight. Here’s how to see this celestial spectacle. 

You’ve probably caught wind that the Perseid meteor shower will be visible by the naked eye tonight and tomorrow, meaning we’ll see glittering shooting stars fling themselves across the night sky. 

After all, it seems that we’re all fascinated with the movements of the planets right now, with everyone from your WhatsApp group to your elder relatives being clued up on the latest comet or new moon.

Recently we’ve seen excitement around the comet Neowise, but we think this otherworldly display is going to be even more beautiful. The Perseid meteor shower is actually an annual occurrence, coming into view between mid-July and August. 

The phenomenon is created by Comet Swift-Tuttle, which years ago left a trail of debris as it orbited around the sun. Every year as we go through this patch of rubble on our way around the sun, we’re able to see pieces of space dust come into our atmosphere, roughly 80 miles up in the air, they burn and glow to give what we on earth know as shooting stars.

Shooting stars
There could be hundreds of shooting stars filling the sky tonight.

How can I see the Perseid meteor shower?

It’s actually surprisingly easy. No need to hang your head out of the window at a specific time or point your nose in a certain direction, the two key things you need to remember are to keep away from light pollution and lie on your back.

You see, your eyes will need to adjust to the darkness properly in order to focus on the shooting stars, and this takes around 20 minutes. So, grab a blanket and head somewhere grassy, where you can lie on your back and chill out until you start seeing shooting stars come into view.

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Viewing between midnight and 5am is advised, as this is when most of the shooting stars will be visible.  The Perseid meteor shower will be at its most visible over 11 and 12 August. There could be up to 100 meteors whizzing through the sky every hour, giving you plenty of opportunities to see one.

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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a digital journalist for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about London happenings, beautiful places, delicious morsels and generally spreading sparkle wherever she can.