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Map shows best places to watch weekend meteor shower

A map has been published showing the best places in France to witness the peak of the shooting star meteor shower, the Perseids, this weekend (August 11-12).

Every year, meteor showers become visible from Earth - weather and light pollution permitting. Meteor showers happen when Earth passes close to the debris stream of the orbit of a comet.

This year, the Perseids shower will last overall from August 10 to 14, with the peak taking place this weekend.

Yet, light pollution in towns and cities can prevent optimum viewing conditions, and reduce the visibility of the shooting stars. In response, astronomy association Avex has created a map displaying the “best” places from which to watch.

Created with European data, the map shows how many stars should be visible from any given place, with visibility of stars increasing as light pollution decreases.

In the darkest places, over 5,000 stars should be visible to the naked eye - compared to just 0-50 in town centres.

When zoomed in correctly, the map shows each area in France in which the stars can be seen best.

The Perseids shower is not the only notable star event visible from Earth; other showers include the Lyrids, the Orionids, and the Geminids.

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