Eyes to the skies everyone and keep your fingers crossed those showers will clear, as tonight could be our best chance to see the Perseid meteor shower.

What will I see?

Star gazers could see up to 70 shooting stars per hour overnight (if the sky is cloud-free) and you’re away from built-up areas.

When is the best time?

Observers should be able to see some meteors as soon as the sun sets, although the best times are when the sky is darkest – between midnight and the very early hours of the morning.

What causes the Perseid meteor shower?

The experts at the Royal Observatory Greenwich say as comets get close to the sun, they heat up and pieces break off. If the debris ends up in the Earth’s path around the sun, it can slam into our atmosphere at speeds of between 7 – 45 miles per second.

The actual speed that a meteor enters our atmosphere travels at depends on the combined speed of the Earth and the debris itself.

The average speed for a Perseid meteor is 36 miles per second.

The air in front of the meteor is squashed and heated to thousands of degrees Celsius. The smaller meteors vaporise and leave behind a bright trail of light. Larger meteors can explode as fireballs.

Why is Perseids so good?

According to the Royal Observatory Greenwich, the Perseids is one of the best meteor shower of the year because it produces bright meteors and is one of the most active.

They also say there is a high chance of seeing fireballs, which are very bright meteors, as well as meteors with long trains during the Perseid meteor shower.

Top tips

As ever, the best way to see the night sky is to get away from light – and hope the skies are clear.

Avoid built-up areas and try and find an unobstructed view to the east. Remember, give your eyes about 20 minutes to adjust to the darkness.

The showers are actually active between July 17 and August 24, but astronomers have predicted the nights of August 12 and 13 are the most intense.