The annual Perseid meteor shower will be seen in Irish skies tonight.
There will be up to twenty times more shooting stars shooting overhead tonight as the Perseid meteor shower reaches its climax, however it still may be observable tomorrow night.
Astronomy Ireland says that to take part in the nationwide Perseid watch – simply go outside and look up! The best time to observe the shower is between 12am and 4am tonight. They also suggest you keep your back to the moon for increased visibility.
They predict that you should be able to see 1 to 2 shooting stars every minute.
A spokesperson explained how and why these meteor showers happen.
“The Perseids have been observed for around 2000 years, and are the result of Earth passing through a cloud of dust left behind Comet Swift-Tuttle. As Earth moves through this cloud, the particles fall into our atmosphere and burn up, creating spectacular streaks of light in the sky, known as meteors or shooting stars.
“This shower is named after the constellation Perseus, from which the meteors appear to come from in the sky. If you trace back the path of a Perseid, you will find that it appears to come from a point in the north east, maybe halfway between the horizon and the zenith (the point straight above your head).”
Astronomy Ireland is appealing to stargazers to count how many meteors you see within fifteen minutes and to then report it to them for their records.
If you’d like to get in touch with Astronomy Ireland with your report you can do so by emailing email@example.com with the following format:
Name: Joe Bloggs
Location: Letterkenny, Co. Donegal
Night: Wednesday night and Thursday morning
11:30 – 11:45: 12 meteors
11:45 – 00:00: 8 meteors
00:00 – 00:15: 17 meteors
Spot something? We’d love to see any pictures you snap of tonight’s meteor shower! You can get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.Tags: