The Perseid meteor shower returns this week, giving stargazers the perfect opportunity to spot their chaise lounges and take in the light show in the sky. But if you want to see meteors in the next five weeks, you have to get up very early …
The Perseid meteors are the remnants of Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle.
When a comet gets too close to the Sun, it begins to heat up and break apart, forming many different parts – known as meteors.
If the Earth crossed the path of debris orbiting the sun, people on the surface could see the meteor shower.
Each year, between July and August, the mainland crosses the Via Perseids, returning again in 2021.
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The Royal Museums Greenwich said: “The best time to see anything in the night sky is when the sky is darker and the target is at its highest point in the sky.
“In the case of meteors, it usually happens between midnight and early morning.
The radiation of the Perseids is always above the horizon as seen from the UK, which means UK watchers should be able to see some meteors once the sun goes down. So let’s look for it.
It is always better to try to spot meteors when the moon is below the horizon or when it is in a crescent phase, otherwise it will be natural light pollution and prevent faint meteors from appearing.
This year, the Perseids will run from Friday, July 16 to Monday, August 23.
But it is expected to reach its peak between August 12-13, when we will likely see the most meteors.
If you’re hoping to see a meteor shower tonight, you’re in luck.
Just look out the window at the night sky.
You are more likely to see meteor showers if you are in a very dark place that is free from light pollution.
Try going to a quiet field or garden and give your eyes at least 15 minutes to adjust to the darkness.
There is always a good chance of seeing fireballs, which are basically very bright meteors.
However, smaller meteorites tend to evaporate as they descend, leaving behind a trail of light.
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