Look up: Irish people will see shooting stars tonight

Alain Brian
Août 12, 2017

This year the peak of the meteor shower fell in the night from 11 to 12 August, but experts claim that the night of the 13th of August will be no less spectacular.

The Perseid meteor shower is poised to reach its peak this weekend (12/13 August), giving stargazers a chance to get a rare glimpse of a spectacular night-time display.

Met Eireann predict that skies will be clear for Irish star-gazers to see the celestial fireworks display.

"But the numbers are going to be quite good". Some of the larger parts will actually explode into fireballs, which Arkos said happens quite often during this particular meteor shower.

"You could see none at all for a few minutes and then two or three".

But you don't have to me a club member to watch the meteors at the park. The Perseids refer to a regular occurrence of meteorites that appear to come from the Perseus constellation.

The meteors, mostly no bigger than a grain of sand, burn up as they hit the atmosphere at 58 kilometres (36 miles) per second to produce a shooting stream of light in the sky.

A tip from Mr Scagell is not to look towards the radiant, but to direct your gaze in the opposite direction.

Because the density of the dust cloud varies, the meteors will not be evenly spaced out.

The Perseids were the first meteor shower to be linked to a comet when astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli spotted their association with Swift-Tuttle in 1862.

The comet orbits the sun every 135 years.

"The Earth is running into a debris field, basically junk, left behind by a comet", he explained.

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