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UK looks to the sky for Perseid meteor shower

In this long exposure photo, a streak appears in the sky during the annual Perseid meteor shower in Villarejo de Salvanes, Central Spain. Picture: AP

In this long exposure photo, a streak appears in the sky during the annual Perseid meteor shower in Villarejo de Salvanes, Central Spain. Picture: AP


THE SKIES are expected to shimmer with a “natural firework display” as a meteor shower crosses into the earth’s atmosphere, astronomy experts have predicted.

Although the Perseid meteor shower is an annual event, the Royal Astronomical Society believes prospects for this year’s showing are particularly good and could mean up to 60 shooting stars an hour in the UK.

Stargazers will need only their own eyes to enjoy the natural occurrence, which is a result of material falling from the tail of Comet Swift-Tuttle, which last passed near the Earth in 1992.

“Comet Swift-Tuttle won’t be visiting our neck of the woods again until the year 2125, but every year we get this beautiful reminder as the Earth ploughs through the debris it leaves in its orbit,” said Professor Alan Fitzsimmons of Queen’s University Belfast. “Every meteor is a speck of comet dust vaporising as it enters our atmosphere at 36 miles per second. What a glorious way to go.”

The best display will last until the Tuesday hours of this morning with weather conditions expected to be favourable.

 

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