Published: Mon, August 14, 2017
Science | By Boyd Webster

Watch a timelapse video of the Perseid meteor shower

Watch a timelapse video of the Perseid meteor shower

The clouds cleared across many areas of the United Kingdom to give astronomy fans a glimpse of the stunning shower, and the stunning spectacle was also visible across Europe.

To get the best view of the Perseids, make sure you are observing the sky on a cloud-free night. "Some meteor showers are slow, but we are moving into the Perseid stream so they are coming at us quite swiftly".

The Perseids are so-called because the point from which they appear, known as the radiant, lies in the constellation of Perseus. It last passed nearby Earth during its orbit around the sun in 1992, and the next time will be in 2126. "You might be lucky or unlucky; that's the way with meteors".

But most of the meteors in the Perseids are much too small for that: they're about the size of a grain of sand.

The shower produces up to 150 meteors per hour, making it the "brightest shooting star" displays of the year. Peak viewing will be Friday night, early Saturday, Saturday night and early Sunday. "The moonlight can create a haze and reduce the number of shooting stars you see".

These factors could be caused by the weather, or too much brightness from the moon - which is said to be the event's biggest hurdle since it has been full since August 7, and will likely emanate enough light that may outshine the meteor's luster in the night sky. As the Earth crosses its orbit, it ploughs through some of the debris left by the icy object on previous visits.

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