Sci-tech

Perseid meteor shower 2017

Perseid meteor shower 2017

Milky Way is seen during the annual Perseid meteor shower above Salime Reservoir, near Grandas de Salime, Spain August 11, 2017.

"Usually in the United Kingdom we are either clouded out or suffer the ill effects of the Moon on meteor showers, and they usually end in disappointment", he said.

Consider this weekend's Perseid meteor shower an opening act for the total solar eclipse on August 21.

The Perseid meteors can be seen each year in July and August as Earth passes the stream of debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle. Best thing to do is try and stay up late till midnight or even later, as that will give you the best shot to catch the meteors.

They are called the Perseids because they seem to come from near the north-east constellation Perseus, named after the Greek slayer of monsters. In dark skies away from city lights you may see up to 40-50 meteors per hour. However, this was decisively debunked by NASA, saying that meteor shower enthusiasts, as always, have to wait for the sun to set in order to clearly see them.

The celestial event will be most visible in the pre-dawn hours.

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

The Swift-Tuttle comet orbits the sun every 135 years but at nearly 90 degrees to the orbit of the Earth.

It is said to be one of the most breathtaking showstoppers with up to 100 shooting stars every hour. "The moonlight can create a haze and reduce the number of shooting stars you see".

The display peaked in the United Kingdom on Saturday and into Sunday, but can be seen all around the world.

Robin Scagell, vice president of the Society for Popular Astronomy, said: "The Perseids can be very bright and often quite spectacular".


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