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This shot from NASA shows the Perseid meteor shower from a previous year.
This shot from NASA shows the Perseid meteor shower from a previous year. (/ NASA/JPL)

Attention sky watchers! The Perseid meteor shower is back for its annual celestial show.

This year’s shower is expected to peak overnight Monday into Tuesday according to NASA.com.

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But a full moon may hamper viewing compared to previous years. That means that a typical viewing of more than 60 fireballs per hour will be down to 15-20 per hour this year.

“But the Perseids are rich in bright meteors and fireballs, so it will still be worth going out in the early morning to catch some of nature’s fireworks,” according to NASA.

The Perseids have been described as the best meteor show of the year.

The sky show peaks each mid-August as the Earth passes through the debris trails of the comet Swift-Tuttle which passes near Earth every 133 years on its trip around the sun. Bright and fast, the Perseids are known for their so called “fireballs,’’ grain-size pieces of dust that spark and glow as they travel through the atmosphere at 37 miles per second.

NASA recommends that star gazers stay up late or wake up early Monday into Tuesday. Astronomers suggests that the best times to view the Perseids will be between 2 a.m. and dawn.

No special equipment (telescopes or binoculars) will be needed to watch the light show. Find a place where it’s dark and away from city lights, lean back and watch.

If you don’t want to stay up late or wake up early to watch the show, there will be a live broadcast from a camera in Huntsville, Alabama beginning 8 p.m. Monday on the NASA Meteor Watch Facebook page. You can also watch videos of meteors recorded by the NASA All Sky Fireball Network each morning. Look for events labeled “PER” for Perseids.

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