The Perseid meteor shower is almost here, meaning that it's nearly time to head outside and lift your eyes toward the heavens, where you can gaze upon hundreds of shooting stars lighting up the night sky. However, it's important to set an alarm clock, because the meteor shower occurs while most people are sleeping.
The Perseids are perhaps the most beloved of all meteor showers due to their predictability. And if you're intrepid enough to travel to a dark sky park, here are some of the absolute best in the United States.
The Mleiha Archaeological and Eco-tourism Project in Sharjah has geared up its preparation for the Perseid Meteor Shower, scheduled to light the UAE skies on Sunday from 8pm to 1am.
This year's shower will be putting on its best display for those in Europe, but as it's peak last so long, from the 11th to 12th, it should also put on a spectacular display for the USA and elsewhere in the northern hemisphere.
In full flow, the spectacular display could produce up to 70 "shooting stars" an hour.
The Perseids get their name from the fact that they appear to come from the constellation Perseus. According to Accuweather, the forecast for clear viewing of the meteor shower is a bit murky. But "Earthgrazer" meteors, which skim Earth's atmosphere and showcase long, blazing tails, are visible earlier when the radiant is low above the horizon.
And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to get a good view, or even to wish upon a shooting star (or several dozen of them). Meteor showers are a great opportunity for time-lapse videos and long-exposure photography, allowing your shots of the night sky to turn into van Gogh-like paintings of this starry spectacle. Though experts say this eclipse will not be as intense last summer's but if you're in the north, it's worth checking out. That's when the peak will start to build as Earth drifts through the most dense part of a cloud of cosmic debris left behind by Comet Swift-Tuttle, which passes by our planet and the sun once every 133 years. The comet is the largest object known to repeatedly careen by Earth, with a nucleus of 16 miles wide.
Your eyes can take up to 30 minutes to adjust to the dark, NASA said.