Perseid meteor shower 2021 – live: Latest on when and how to see the spectacular phenomenon at its peak – The Independent

The Perseid meteor shower is about to light up the sky with blazing pieces of a comet.

The celestial spectacle – arguably the most famous and widely-watched meteor shower of the year, and taking place every August – is famous in part because it does not require much preparation to see. No special equipment is required, and it can be seen just by looking up at the sky.

But there are things you can do to make sure you see the best of it. That includes ensuring that you look up at the right time, including other preparations.

The lucky thing is that there is no need to find the exact place to look. The answer to where to look forthe Perseids is: just about anywhere.

The streaking lights can appear right across the sky, wherever you are looking.

As such, the best thing to do is to look straight up, where the sky is likely to be darkest and the light pollution least invasive. That will give you the best chance of actually spotting one of the meteors as they blaze across the sky.

Perhaps more important is where you should look after you’ve seen one. If you can trace the light back to where it came from, you might be able to see whether it seemed to emerge from the Perseus constellation, and so find out whether it is really a Perseid or just another interloper.

Also as important as where you should be looking is where you should be looking from. Again, while it’s possible to see the shower from anywhere, being in certain places will increase your chances.

The best thing is to find somewhere with as little light pollution as possible. Everything helps – while the best view will probably come in the countryside, as far from civilisation as possible, just going to a quiet park or looking away from busy areas will help.

Likewise, it will be helpful to make sure you are away from any obstructions in the sky. A canopy of trees or skyscrapers will block off how much of the sky you can see, and the more of it you can see the more chance there is to spot a meteor.

It is also worth checking the weather forecast. The Perseids might be bright but they are not bright enough to shine through clouds; seeing them might be magical, but they’ll be a lot less magical if you are out in the cold.

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