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Perseid meteor shower: when and how to watch it in London

Isabelle Aron

Keen stargazers will have probably seen a perseid meteor shower before, as they happen every August. But this year is set to be particularly spectacular, as NASA is predicting that a rare perseid meteor outburst could happen, which means you could see around 200 meteors an hour. Let's just hope it's not a letdown like London's 'dramatic' solar eclipse last year.

Here's everything you need to know about the Perseid meteor shower:

What is a perseid meteor shower?

Perseid meteor showers get their name because the point from which they appear to come from is in the constellation Perseus. The meteors are pieces of a comet called Swift-Tuttle, and the meteor shower happens when Earth passes through a cloud of the comet's debris. Got all that? Good.

When is it?

It happens every year in August, but according to NASA, the best time to keep your eyes on the skies is between midnight and early morning on August 12. But it's worth stargazing on the nights before and after, as you might still see some action.

What's the best way to see it?

Unlike the solar eclipse, there's no faffing about with pinhole cameras or special glasses, you just need to find a wide open space away from tall buildings or trees, and with as little light as possible. If you want to guarantee a good view, you can check out NASA's live stream of the event.

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