ven city dwellers can see this year’s meteorological phenomenon from their back gardens as it reaches its peak tonight (12 August 2015) according to scientists. The Perseid meteor shower gets its name from the constellation Perseus as it appears to originate at the same point in the sky as the constellation.
Meteors are bright streaks of light that shoot across the sky so fast they can be seen in the blink of an eye. Commonly known as shooting stars, they can sometimes turn into bright fireballs that can last a few seconds. The Perseid meteor shower is the most famous of all the meteor showers, providing an opportunity for non-enthusiasts to see a meteor.
The Perseids can be seen from the end of July with one meteor an hour crossing the skies. By the 10 August up to 15 meteors an hour can be seen on a clear sky. The peak dates to see the Perseid meteor shower are between the 12-13 August when up to 100 meteors an hour can be seen!
There will also be good rates between 11-12 August and 13-14 August, although to a lesser extent.
Perseid Meteors tend to be brighter than most, so this shower is ideal for anyone wishing to see their first ‘shooting star’ without the need for any special equipment. The best weather conditions to see the Perseids are clear, cloudless skies. Late evening and into the hours before dawn are the best times to see the meteor shower, however stargazers will see some shooting stars even in the early evening.
For more information about the Perseid meteor shower and other astronomy events, visit the Meteorwatch website.
PERSEID METEOR GRAPHIC (CLICK TO ENLARGE)
(Source: Met Office)