Science

Meteor shower of the year coming up

Meteor shower of the year coming up”

Keen stargazers may have already spotted one or two streaking meteors since around mid-July when the Perseids started to appear.

The Perseids reach their peak in the early hours of August 13 when up to 70 per hour should be visible.

The annual show is the result of Earth's proximity to the "gritty" debris of Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle, Boyle said in a release.

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. "Comets and asteroids leave tiny bits of themselves in the orbital path that they take around the sun".

The Perseids as seen from the International Space Station.

Greater numbers of meteors are visible when the radiant is high.

According to NASA, the fireballs are the Perseids' signature spectacle thanks to their larger cometary particles.

Meteors streak across the night sky during the Orionid meteor shower on October 23, 2016.

A glorious display of Perseid meteors is set to light up the skies over the United Kingdom on Sunday night.

The Perseids appear to emanate from between the constellations Perseus and Cassiopeia, but to catch them there's really no need to worry about which direction you're looking. The best time to view is after midnight each night.

If you'd rather watch the Perseid meteor shower from the comfort of your own home, the Virtual Telescope Project is live broadcasting the shower from scenic Castel Santa Maria, Italy, beginning at 4:30 p.m. EST on August 12.

The best nights to follow the fall of such meteors will be 11th, 12th and 13th of August 2018.

Unlike other celestial sightings that require a telescope or binoculars, the best way to watch a meteor shower is with the naked eye. However, this year there will be a New Moon the night before the meteor shower peaks, making an appearance just after sunset as a thin crescent, according to The Weather Network.

For optimal meteor-spotting chances be sure to stay away from bright lights and sources of urban pollution like street lamps, cars and buildings.



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