VANCOUVER(NEWS1130) – A dazzling display awaits us this weekend for the annual Perseids meteor shower.

Clear skies and little moonlight will certainly help stargazers catch a glimpse of a shooting star.     

Astronomer David Dodge says nobody is going to make any absolute predictions but this is one of the strongest meteor showers of the year.

“You might be able to see on average a meteor a minute over the six hour viewing period. That means some times you’ll see lots of meteors, other times you’ll be bored stiff,” he says.

He says the earth is traveling through a veil of dust and gravel left behind by a comet that went around the sun.

Comet tails are made of gravel and dust driven off by the heat of the sun.

“Now if the comet goes through the orbit of the earth and every time the earth gets to that point in its orbit, it’s going to pass through that material,” he says.    

Dodge says the small chunks of material slam into the earth’s atmosphere at around 70km’s a second, and then burn-up.    

He says as always when it comes to celestial shows, it’s best to get away from the city lights, and he has a recommendation.

“Spanish Banks West where there are still no lights on the road is a really good location and it’s huge. Not only do you have the beach but a huge park and it’s open to a lot of people,” he says.     

Best meteor viewing times are late Saturday night, Sunday morning and late Sunday night, Monday morning in the northeast sky. 

Dodge says next year, the Perseids will be even better with no moon to worry about at all.