Every year the prolific meteor shower associated with the comet Swift–Tuttle puts on a light show. The show’s climax occurs at the end of this week at around 1:30 am on Friday morning, when 200 to 300 lights will cross the sky within an hour.
The name, Perseides, comes from a term found in Greek mythology referring to the sons of Perseus, the son of Zeus and Danaë.
“Certain years are better than others. Then there are exceptional years like this one” explained Mark Bailey from the observatory in Armagh in Northern Ireland. In passed years the number of shooting stars was around 100 to 120. This year there will be between 200 and 300.
The phenomenon lasts around two weeks. The shower is visible from mid-July each year, peaking between 9 and 14 August, depending on the particular location of the stream. This year it is visible from July 17 until August 24, peaking on 12 to 13 August 2016.
Using a telescope is of no help. It’s best to observe it with the naked eye. The best place to see the show is where there is the least artifical light. Cloud cover is also to be avoided. According to Meteo Swiss, Geneva will be a good place to see the show early on Friday morning. If you are in Basel or Zurich you will probably find the weather gods are not on your side. There Meteo Swiss predicts thick cloud cover between midnight and 6am.