Saturday, 19 August, 2017

Perseid meteor shower expected to peak over weekend

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Heather Davidson | 14 August, 2017, 00:53

The weather will be lovely for viewing the Perseid Meteor Shower.

August is going to be an exciting month for stargazers, starting with the annual Perseid meteor shower that gives an opportunity to spot scores of shooting stars in the sky.

The clouds cleared across many areas of the United Kingdom to give astronomy fans a glimpse of the stunning shower, and the stunning spectacle was also visible across Europe.

The meteor shower gets it's name due to the direction in which it comes from.

The phenomenon is caused by debris from the tail of the Swift-Tuttle comet entering the Earth's atmosphere and burning up, appearing as bright streaks of light crossing the sky.

They are called the Perseids because they seem to come from near the north-east constellation Perseus, named after the Greek slayer of monsters.

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It's made up of debris from the Swift-Tuttle comet and happens every August.

"Last year's Perseids excelled with 200 meteors an hour".

The shower occurs between July 17 and August 20 each year. "You might be lucky or unlucky; that's the way with meteors".

In the United Kingdom, it will peak at around 11.05pm on Saturday 12 August and should be visible from most areas.

Asked if he was expecting clear skies for the night, Mr Moore said Irish astronomers tend to ignore the forecast given the unpredictable nature of our weather. Peak viewing will be Friday night, early Saturday, Saturday night and early Sunday. None of the particles are big enough to avoid destruction and reach the ground.

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