The best place in Scotland to witness spectacular meteor showers

The Eta Aquarid meteor shower will be best viewed on Sunday night into Monday morning in Scotland
The Eta Aquarid meteor shower will be best viewed on Sunday night into Monday morning in Scotland
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Scots are being urged to get out of towns and away from light pollution to witness to watch a spectacular meteor shower and gaze at the largest planet in the solar system.

The best time to witness the Eta Aquarid shower will be on Sunday night into Monday morning.

Stargazers will get the best display just before dawn and have been advised to prepare for an early start to the day.

The magnificent shooting star display is one of two meteor showers caused by debris from Halley’s Comet, which last swung past Earth in 1986.

The Earth crosses the orbital path of the comet in late April and May each year.

This leads to dust and particles from the comet lighting the sky as Eta Aquariid meteors, with the display expected to be particularly eye-catching this year.

Viewers will be able to trace the paths of individual meteors, which will originate from the eastern part of the sky where Aquarius – the water bearer – can be seen.

Astronomers have predicted rates of up to 30 meteors an hour streaking through the north-east skies starting around 10pm GMT.

Scots are advised the best views will be had from dark countryside and away from city light pollution.

However, a couple of the aerial fireballs should still be visible from suburban backyards across the country as the meteors travel through the upper atmosphere.

Jupiter – the solar system’s largest planet – will be at its best and brightest for the entire year on Tuesday night.

The planet will appear as the largest disc in the sky and will be visible from sundown to sunrise.

During opposition, Jupiter will also make its closest approach to Earth, coming within about 409 million miles.