Perseid Meteor Shower

Perseid meteor shower show
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How and when to watch the Perseid meteor shower – with up to 100 shooting stars per hour

While each meteor is only about the size of a grain of sand, when these babies hit 130,000mph, we see some serious cool stuff. That’s the astonishing speed at which they hit the Earth’s atmosphere, before burning up at scorching temperatures and making for some stunning nighttime views.

The annual summer Perseid meteor shower peaks tonight, offering the best chance to see one of the night sky’s most spectacular light shows.

It’s been active since last month and runs to 24 August, but goes into overdrive from Saturday night into Sunday morning with up to 100 shooting stars per hour.

From super bright fireballs to meteors with trails long enough to follow, it promises to be quite the spectacle.

When’s best to catch the show?

If you can stay up, the Royal Observatory of Greenwich recommends between midnight and 5.30am on Sunday

That’s when the sky is darkest and the meteors will be at their highest position in the sky.

But as Perseid is always above the horizon from the UK, you should be able to some meteors from sunset.

Experts suggest it’s best to try to spot them when the moon is below the horizon or when it’s in its crescent phase, because otherwise it acts as natural light pollution and will prevent fainter meteors from being visible.

Of course, moon or otherwise, the less light pollution the better – you won’t have as much luck looking up from the busy streets of central London as you would from an open field.

You can see the Perseid meteor shower best in the northern hemisphere

They are best observed with the naked eye, though a comfy reclining chair wouldn’t go amiss.

As for that light pollution, try to avoid it by heading out to the countryside, or just a park or garden.

The Royal Observatory of Greenwich also suggests giving your eyes 15 minutes or so to adjust to the dark, which means staying off your phone.

Happy Star Gazing, and maybe you will see a Shooting Star!

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