THE most popular meteor shower of the year is taking place this weekend, and you can get a front-row seat (...well, almost).

Each year the Perseid meteor shower peaks annually in mid-August, and the best viewing this year is set to be the night of Saturday, August 12.

What are they?

Perseids are seen as one of the most plentiful meteor showers, with up to 80 meteors per hour expected to be seen.

They occur with warm summer nighttime weather, allowing sky watchers to easily view them.

Perseids are pieces of debris from the tail of Comet Swift-Tuttle, which takes 133 years to orbit the sun once.

The Perseids are known for fireballs, which are large explosions of light and color that last longer than an average meteor streak.

The point in the sky from which they appear to come from is the constellation Perseus. Known as the 'shower radiant', this is where they are expected to burst.

When can I watch them?

This year the Perseids can be seen between now and Thursday, August 24.

The peak date however is Saturday, August 12. Night owls are welcome for this one, as it may be a long night.

Between 11pm and 3am is when the action should take place, with the best time to spot the display at around 1am.

Got that sleeping bag ready?

Where's the best view?

All meteor showers are best viewed in the Northern Hemisphere, and this one is no different.

The best place to view the shower is well away from city or street lights and somewhere where you're shadowed from the moon's glare.

So try and find a spot that's dark and generally open, with minimal light pollution.

Somewhere like the Peak District or Lake District would be the best possible place. Fail that, try a nearby park.

Anything else?

You need to allow your eyes time to adjust to the dark to allow you to see fainter objects, including meteors, so spend about 30 minutes outside before you start.

If you wear a baseball cap sideways, you'll also cover any glare from the moon.

Any why not make an evening of it? Pack some chairs, food and drink to make observing the meteors as enjoyable as possible.