The shower has been active since the 13th of July and will continue until the end of August. But activity will peak on Wednesday night (August 12-13th), the day before a new moon, meaning the skies will be darker than usual and the shooting stars more visible.
Danish meteorology institute DMI said Wednesday night skies should be virtually cloud-free, giving “optimal conditions” for catching the aerial action.
DMI said that Danish stargazers should be able to see 60-70 meteors per hours between 11.30pm on Wednesday and 2.30am on Thursday. In the following days, there will still be meteor, but at a rate nearly half of what it will be at its Wednesday peak.
DMI's prognosis shows clear skies above Denmark during the peak viewing window. Graphic: Thyge Rasmussen/DMI
The meteorite shower is visible across the northern hemisphere but should be especially good across Europe.
Find a place as far away from light pollution as possible so head to wide open spaces away from the city. Fields and beaches are perfect. Then look up and enjoy the show.
“What makes this year's Perseids better than most is the fact that the Moon will not be lighting up the sky, and there is a good chance that the shower will be given a ‘shot in the arm’ as Earth may encounter more meteors along its orbit than usual,” astronomer Tom Callen told The Local Spain.
The shooting stars are visible to the naked eye so no need for binoculars or a telescope but allow yourself to become accustomed to the darkness which usually takes around 20 minutes. And have patience as the shower comes in spurts – nothing for a while and then a sudden flurry of activity.
“When you want to see a meteor shower, it is best and most comfortable from a lounger with your gaze focused on an area roughly halfway up in the starry sky so that it fills as much as your field of vision as possible,” DMI wrote.
DMI said it doesn’t matter much which direction you look in, because the Perseid meteor shower will fill the sky. Callen told our colleagues at The Local Spain however that looking northeast is the best bet.
What it is:
Shooting stars are caused by tiny flecks of comet hitting the earth’s atmosphere. The Perseids occur annually when the orbit of Earth crosses into the tail of the comet Swift-Tuttle.
The Perseids are named after the constellation Perseus because that is where the meteors seem to originate from when looking up at the sky.
Nasa advises: “If you see one meteor shower this year, make it August's Perseids or December's Geminids. The Perseids feature fast and bright meteors that frequently leave trains, and in 2015 there will be no moonlight to upstage the shower.”