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11th Aug 2015

Dazzling Meteor Shower to Light Up the Skies This Week

Fair warning – don’t make any other plans!

Rebecca McKnight

What are you doing Wednesday night? Because you might want to cancel your plans.

Skywatchers have given the heads up that the annual Perseid meteor shower will reach its peak on Wednesday, thrilling those who take the time to look up.

For the first time in eight years, the shower coincides with a new moon. This makes the viewing conditions much more favourable. Adding to the good news, Ireland is expecting a bright and dry week.


At the shower’s peak, star-gazers can expect to see as many as 100 meteors every hour.

The meteor showers are the result of small particles, often as tiny as a single grain of sand, entering the Earth’s atmosphere at high speed. The particles heat up the air around them, causing the characteristic streak of light seen from the ground.

The best viewing hours looks set to be from 11pm on Wednesday through to Thursday morning.


Speaking to the BBC, Professor Mark Bailey, director of Armagh Observatory in Northern Ireland, said the Perseids were “one of the best and most reliable meteor showers of the year”.

Experts say the best way to get a great view is by finding a dark location removed from artificial light and with a clear view of the sky.

Maybe bring a blanket and a picnic… this could make for the most romantic date ever!