Though the comet last passed by Earth in 1992, and won't again until 2126, each year Earth passes through the dust and debris (rich in fireballs) it leaves behind, thus giving us the Perseid meteor shower.
"The Perseids appear to radiate from the constellation Perseus, visible in the northern sky soon after sunset this time of year". The annual Perseid meteor shower will be peaking this Saturday and Sunday night. Although the peak occurs this weekend, the Perseids are visible for several nights after that.
When is the best time to see the meteor shower?
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If you'd rather watch the Perseid meteor shower from the comfort of your own home, the Virtual Telescope Project is live broadcasting the shower from scenic Castel Santa Maria, Italy, beginning at 4:30 p.m. EST on August 12.
A glorious display of Perseid meteors is set to light up the skies over the United Kingdom on Sunday night.
"Relax, be patient, and let your eyes adapt to the darkness", J. Kelly Beatty, senior editor of Sky & Telescope magazine, said in a statement.
If you live in the middle of city lights, consider heading somewhere in the suburbs or countryside to get a better view.
The Perseid shower is named after the constellation of Perseus. If you can't escape the city, try a golf course or a park.
The comet that left the Perseid meteor stream is a piece of dirty ice about 26km in diameter called 109P/Swift-Tuttle. But the most spectacular long-lasting meteors, known as "Earthgrazers", can be seen when the radiant is still low above the horizon.
Dim meteors appear as a momentary flash of light while the brighter ones leave a glowing streak.
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