Meteor showers are some of the most popular skywatching events each year, and 2012’s lineup of celestial light shows is already expected to be more impressive than last year.

A meteor shower occurs when Earth travels through specks of debris from comets or asteroids. These pieces of dust and debris hit Earth’s atmosphere at scorching speeds and disintegrate in flashes of light. This is why meteors are often called “shooting stars,” because of the way they streak across the sky.

So, what is the best way to watch a meteor shower?

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