Friday, 9 Dec 2022

Perseids meteor shower to light up the night sky over next few weeks

The Perseids meteor shower is one of the most spectacular cosmic events that you can witness from almost anywhere.

It has already begun, but the rate of the shooting stars will continue to increase over the next few days and weeks.

For amateur astronomers, it is one of the main events of the year and one they can’t miss.

Luckily, there is plenty of time to see it, with it being accessible for most people to catch a glimpse of the shooting stars.

There are still a few weeks to go, but you will need to head out into the early hours of the morning to see it at its best.

What is the Perseids meteor shower?

When comets approach the sun, they rapidly heat up and break apart leaving a field of debris in the depths of space.

This debris often finds itself in the path of Earth’s orbit around the sun, causing the pieces to plummet down into the atmosphere.

As they sail through our skies, they burn up again, becoming what we know as shooting stars.

The Perseids event happens every year, either in July or August, and is caused by the Earth slamming into the debris left behind a comet known as Swift-Tuttle or Comet 109P.

The Perseids meteor shower gets its name from the fact the meteors appear to originate from the constellation of Perseus, which in turn is named from the Greek mythology.

When is the Perseids meteor shower?

The meteor shower should be available to see as soon as the sun sets in the UK.

It started on 17 July and will continue until 24 August, with it predicted to reach its spectacular peak between August 12 and 13.

The radiant of Perseids is above the horizon from the UK’s perspective, so it is consistently visible as long as light pollution is low and it isn’t a cloudy night.

It is best to see when the skies are at their darkest, so head outside between midnight and 5.30am.

How to see the Perseids meteor shower?

Looking for the shooting stars in your back garden certainly isn’t impossible, but due to light pollution it is more difficult.

It is best to take yourself to a spot where there are less streetlights, either out of town or a large park if that isn’t possible.

The Perseids are visible with the naked eye, so there is no need in investing in expensive stargazing equipment.

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