Published: Sun, August 13, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Perseid meteor shower lights up the night sky

Perseid meteor shower lights up the night sky

The Perseid meteors, shed by comet Swift-Tuttle, stage their show every August and are among the brightest of all shooting stars.

Tonight's the night of the annual Perseid meteor showers over Ireland - and like nearly every other year, there's cloud cover predicted.

According to, "Typical rates are about 80 meteors an hour, but in outburst years (such as in 2016), the rate can be between 150-200 meteors an hour", NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke said. We can look forward to a decent display, even though they aren't going to be raining down from the sky.

At 10:50 p.m. the moon will rise and light up the night sky. It's also helpful to let your eyes adjust for about 30 minutes in the darkness.

But you don't have to me a club member to watch the meteors at the park. "The number one thing for astronomy - more important than your telescope - is a clear, dark sky".

Although the shower started on July 17 the impressive display is set to continue all through the week until August 24.

"The Perseids can be very bright and often quite spectacular".

Just keep in mind the best viewing for meteors is as far away from the city lights as possible. Tonight between 9 pm and the early hours of tomorrow are when the best of the showers can be seen.

In the capital, open spaces like Richmond Park and Hampstead Heath could provide ideal spots to settle in for a night of stargazing.

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