- By Michael Shiels McNamee
- BBC News
Stargazers are treated to a Saturday night treat as the Perseid meteor shower lights up the sky.
When debris from comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle crashes into Earth’s atmosphere and burns up, the event brings dozens of meteors per hour.
This year the event reaches its peak on the night of August 12, till the early hours of August 13.
During this period, up to 100 shooting stars are visible per hour.
The natural display occurs around the same time each year in July and August, and can be seen all over the world – although it is believed to be clearest in the Northern Hemisphere.
It is considered one of the best astronomical events because it produces the brightest meteors and is one of the most active.
In England, people in the North Midlands, east and north-east England will have clear conditions overnight, with people east of the Pennines having some of the best odds of seeing rain.
Elsewhere, in south-west and north-west England, scattered showers are expected – with occasional clear skies.
„A few clear spells are possible across the UK, but parts of western Britain, particularly the coasts and mountains, will see cloudy conditions due to south-westerly winds,” BBC Weather’s Billy Payne said.
He estimates that people in Northern Ireland have roughly a 60% chance of seeing a meteor, and people in eastern Scotland have about a 50% chance of seeing it, but this drops to 40% for people in Wales.
According to the organization, all you need to see meteors is „a clear sky, darkness and a little patience,” and meteors can be seen from all directions in the sky.
It’s called the 'Persete’ meteor shower because the meteors originate from the constellation Perseus – named after a figure from Greek mythology.
Very bright meteors, meteors with long trains are also more likely to see flares.
According to the Royal Astronomical Society, observing meteor showers is easy and requires no special equipment.
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