A long exposure shows stars behind a tree during the annual Perseid meteor shower near the southern town of Mitzpe Ramon, August 13, 2012. The annual Perseid meteor shower 2013 is expected to reach its peak between 12 and13 August. (Photo: REUTERS/Amir Cohen)
A long exposure shows stars behind a tree during the annual Perseid meteor shower near the southern town of Mitzpe Ramon, August 13, 2012. The annual Perseid meteor shower 2013 is expected to reach its peak between 12 and13 August. (Photo: REUTERS/Amir Cohen)

The annual Perseid meteor shower is expected to reach a peak of approximately 100 streaks per hour, during 12 and 13 August.

"The Perseids will be most visible between the 12-13 August," the Met Office said in a statement, "By the 10 August up to 15 meteors an hour can be seen on a clear sky. The peak dates to see the Perseid meteor shower are between the 12-13 August when up to 100 meteors an hour can be seen."

The Perseid meteor shower occurs every year in August and is associated with comet Swift-Tuttle. The shower, which has been observed for over 2,000 years, gets its name from its location in the constellation Perseus.

NASA explains that the big showers - like the Perseids and later the Leonids in November - are caused when the Earth and its atmosphere travels through a region of the sky filled with leftover debris lost by comets.

In a note on the website, NASA adds: "In the case of the Perseids, the small fragments were ripped of the tail of comet Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the sun once every 130 years. The fragments light up due to the immense friction created when they plough into the gas surrounding Earth."

Perseid 2013 at Peak: First Pictures of Meteor Showers Surfaced [PHOTOS]

Watch Perseid Meteor Shower 2013 Online

The Perseid meteor shower will be visible in skies over the UK, the US, Asia, the Far East, Australia and the rest of the world.

However, for those unable to be outdoors or stuck in bad weather or cloudy conditions, the showers can be observed, during peak time, online.

The Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama, USA, is offering a live broadcast of the skies over Huntsville from an all-sky camera. The camera goes live at 9 pm EDT (2am BST) daily to capture the shooting stars. During the day, a dark gray box or pre-recorded footage is seen.

Watch Perseid Meteor Shower 2013 over Huntsville skies online here

Another live camera, from the Marshall Space Flight Center's Ustream channel, shows skies above Lake Tekapo in the South Island of New Zealand - the skies here are generally clear enough to watch for any celestial events, including the Perseid meteor shower.

Watch Perseid Meteor Shower 2013 on New Zealand skies online here

A live all-sky camera is located near the village of Yamazoe in the Nara Prefecture of Japan and should afford more clear sightings of the shooting stars.

Watch Perseid Meteor Shower 2013 on Japan skies online here

Meanwhile, catch a glimpse of some of the earlier meteor showers, captured on 30 and 31 July by the cameras from Nasa's All Sky Fireball Network in North Carolina, Alabama and New Mexico, in a video below (Video courtesy: NASA All Sky Fireball Network)


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