Biggest 'shooting star' meteor shower to peak this week

A meteor during the Perseid meteor shower seen over Happisburgh lighthouse, Norfolk.

A meteor during the Perseid meteor shower seen over Happisburgh lighthouse, Norfolk, taken in August 2021. - Credit: PA Wire

One of the biggest annual displays of 'shooting stars' is to peak later this week.

The Perseid meteor shower is one of the most well-known astronomical events and the best time to see it will be between Thursday, August 11, and Saturday, August 13.

It will be most active between midnight and 5.30am and according to the Met Office, visibility is set to be very good with little cloud coverage forecast.

The Perseid shower occurs when Earth passes through dust and debris left by the comet Tuttle.

It could be the best chance this year to see the night's sky lit up by meteors.

While we call them 'shooting stars', they are in fact not stars at all but tiny rock particles called meteoroids that strike Earth's atmosphere about 60 miles from the ground, releasing a ball of energy.

During the Perseids' peak, it may be possible to see 100 meteors per hour, according to NASA.