Is it me, or does there seem to be more meteor showers than usual this year?
It feels like we're reporting on them every other week. But hey, we're not complaining; it's astronomy at its sexiest.
On August 11 and 12, the skies will light up with the Perseid meteor shower.
But this is set to be a special kind of show.
The shower, which can usually be seen every year in August, is set to be bigger than ever this week.
NASA predicts the number of visible meteors to be double that of what we'd normally see.
Bill Cooke, of NASA's Meteoroid Environments Office in Huntsville, Alabama, said,
Forecasters are predicting a Perseid outburst this year with double normal rates on the night of Aug. 11 to 12. Under perfect conditions, rates could soar to 200 meteors per hour.
The best time to see the light show will be 3 am on Friday, August 12, say experts.
NASA explains that every Perseid meteor is a tiny piece of Comet Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the sun every 133 years.
What we're seeing is debris from the comet that collides with the Earth's atmosphere and disintegrates on impact, causing a flash of light.
These bad boys move 500 times faster than the fastest car in the world.
OK, so the important question is what do we have to do to capture the perfect Instagram pics and be the envy of our friends?
Follows these steps:
- Get outside between midnight and dawn on the morning of August 12
- 3 am has been pinned as the best time to catch a glimpse of the shower
- Allow around 45 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark
- Lie on your back and look straight up
- Get snapping
- Cheat by using a proper camera with a tripod and uploading it to Instagram
Here are some more tips from NASA:
And here's what the shower looked like in a beautiful time lapse from 2013 (apologies for the terrible David Bowie remix):