HUNDREDS of shooting stars will be visible this weekend.

The Perseids meteor shower will reach maximum activity after midnight on Saturday and Sunday, with up to 100 shooting stars an hour.

Providing there are clear skies, it will be a beautiful spectacle for stargazers.

South Wales Argus astronomer, Jonathan Powell, explained: "The shower is associated with the debris left by Comet Swift-Tuttle, the largest known object to repeatedly pass by the Earth.

"The comet last visited our vicinity in 1992, and will do so again in 2126. Everytime Comet Swift-Tuttle passes the Earth, it leaves a trail of debris in its wake, which every August the Earth passes through.

"The debris, measuring from a grain of sand to the size of a small rock, then passes through the Earth's atmosphere at a speed of 37 miles per second, the friction during its passage through the atmosphere causing it to burn up in a streak of light, hence, a shooting star!

"This weekend, the Earth passes through the richest part of the debris left behind by the comet, generating the height of activity in terms of meteor numbers."

For those wanting to watch the peak of the meteor showers, just look high in the northeast after midnight.

No binoculars or telescope required, just a clear view of the sky.