Look up this weekend for annual meteor shower

The Perseid meteor shower is happening over the weekend, and at its peak viewers should be able to see 60-70 meteors per hour. But lots of Gizmodo readers live in cities.

Every year in the month of August the skies are graced with what is known as the Perseid Meteor Shower. This year, the viewing opportunities are about as good as they can get.

StormCenter 2 Severe Weather Specialist Brad Spakowitz says the meteors are remnants of Comet Swift-Tuttle.

The Perseids got their name because they appear to come out of the constellation Perseus to Earth.

This is classified as an outburst rather than a meteor shower.

NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke calls the Perseids the most popular meteor shower of the year.

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So how dark should the sky be?

Perseid meteors pose no threat to Earth, as many of them burn up in the atmosphere more than 50 miles above the surface. If that's accurate, it means that if you can see the stars of the Big Dipper, you should be able to see numerous Perseid meteors, astronomer Steven Bellavia from Brookhaven National Laboratory told Gizmodo.

He's also the founder of Pasco Astronomers. Just lie on a blanket and look straight up. "Even if the sky is dark enough, if you are exposed to any bright light nearby, your eyes will not be dark-adapted", said Bellavia.

If you know your constellations, look for Perseus in the northern sky, soon after sunset this time of year.

How can you see the meteor shower?

But considering that only about 10 per cent of the United Kingdom is urban, most of us shouldn't have a problem finding a darker spot to go look at the skies from.

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