Year's best meteor shower expected tonight as Perseids reach peak


Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

12.21 12 Aug 2019


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The best and most reliable meteor shower of the year is expected tonight, as astronomers prepare for the Perseids meteor shower to reach peak activity.

As many as 20 times more shooting stars than normal are expected between dusk and dawn, according to Astronomy Ireland.

The Perseids meteor shower happens every year, and is linked to the Swift–Tuttle comet.

While activity from the meteor shower can be spotted for more than a month, the peak is considered one of the brightest and most reliable annual events.

David Moore, editor of Astronomy Ireland magazine, explained: "You do not need any telescopes or binoculars, just normal human eyesight - oh, and a clear sky.

"But a few clouds won't spoil the view especially as you have all the hours of darkness to see them and this shower is known for producing some brilliant fireballs.

"I remember seeing one that light up the whole countryside like daylight for a few seconds!"

Astronomy Ireland is urging anyone stargazing tonight to count the number of shooting stars they see every 15 minutes.

Mr Moore said the assistance of members of the public has "real scientific value", with more details of how to log details available on the group's website.

 

Listen back to David Moore on The Pat Kenny Show

Year's best meteor shower expected tonight as Perseids reach peak

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Main image: Germany, Einsiedl: A shooting star appears next to the Milky Way in the sky above Walchensee. Picture by: Matthias Balk/DPA/PA Images

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