The biggest and best display of shooting stars this year arrives tonight as the Perseids meteors light up the night skies above Lytham St Anne’s. So let’s hope the skies are clear as the awesome Perseid meteor shower will be visible from around midnight until 5.30 a.m.
According to Royal Museum Greenwich, this magnificent meteor shower will be at its maximum tonight, with up to 100 shooting stars per hour clearly visible in the night sky. The meteors, mostly no bigger than a grain of sand, burn up as they hit the atmosphere at 36 miles per second to produce a spectacular streak of light. A few – known as Earth-grazers – don’t plunge into the atmosphere but skim across it like a pebble across the surface of a pond. They enter the atmosphere briefly, causing long bright trails or fireballs before leaving again to fly off into space. This meteor shower is considered the best display of the year, thanks to its plentiful peak and these bright fireballs.
This cosmic show, which happens as the Earth ploughs through debris trailing behind the Swift-Tuttle comet, is best seen away from light pollution in an open space with a clear view of the sky that isn’t obscured by trees or tall buildings. No special equipment is needed, as the meteors will be visible with the naked eye – but allow 15 to 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark.