Everything you need to know about this weekend's meteor shower extravaganza

Pablo Tucker
August 10, 2017

The Perseids meteor shower is the leftover debris of Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle, which takes 133 Earth years to complete one orbit of the sun.

When it comes to astronomical events, this year's annual Perseid meteor shower is in serious danger of being, shall we say, eclipsed.

A special meteor shower that you should be able to see without any special equipment will light up the sky in a few days time.

The meteor shower runs from July 17 to August 27 but it is this weekend, on August 12, when it reaches its peak.


This year the Perseids can be seen between now and Thursday, August 24.

The meteors will appear to come from the direction of the Perseus constellation in the north-eastern part of the sky, although they should be visible from any point. The event will begin Friday night and peak between Saturday night and Sunday morning. Known as the "shower radiant", this is where they are expected to burst.

Normal meteor showers aren't visible from big cities, but some of the Perseid fireballs actually burn brighter than some stars, which means they will be visible even from the downtown core as long as building aren't in the way.

Astronomy Ireland say that the best time to spot the display is between 1am and dawn on August 12.


Of course, open spaces and areas away from street lighting are the best viewing platforms.

Somewhere like the Peak District or Lake District would be the best possible place.

Astronomy Ireland advise that people should allow 20 minutes for your eyes become accustomed to the dark.


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