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How to watch the Perseid meteor shower

A shooting star from the Perseids flew over Hungary last year.

EPA/file 2013

A shooting star from the Perseids flew over Hungary last year.

Starting next week, stargazers can expect a show overhead.

The annual Perseid meteor shower, the undisputed “fireball champion” as NASA calls it, will return.

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A NASA team has determined that the Perseids produce more fireballs, explosions of light and color that can persist longer than an average meteor streak, than any other annual meteor shower.

When should I watch?

The Perseids are expected to begin Sunday night and will peak Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

Anything else I should expect to see?

The second of this summer’s three supermoons will also take place Sunday. The moon will officially reach its full phase at 2:09 p.m.

Any viewing tips?

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The best time to watch the Perseids will be the pre-dawn hours, according to NASA.

Also, it’s best to find an area away from city or street lights.

Observers typically count more than 100 meteors an hour, though the brightness of the supermoon may diminish the Perseids’ visibility.

I won’t be able to find a good viewing spot. What should I do?

NASA will also offer a live video stream and chat on Aug. 12.

What’s the weather going to be like?

The National Weather Service forecast calls for mostly clear skies Sunday night. Monday should have a partly cloudy sky, and there is a 30 percent chance of showers Tuesday night. All three nights are expected to have temperatures in the 60s.

Why are the Perseids an annual event?

The meteor shower is the result of Earth passing through the debris zone of the comet Swift-Tuttle. This typically occurs Aug. 11-13.

Material from wire sources was used in this report.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly listed the official time of the supermoon’s full phase.

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