Clear skies forecast for the Perseid meteor shower

The Perseid meteor shower lit up the sky over Sussex last night (Saturday, August 12).

The meteors themselves are usually no larger than a grain of sand, but when they hit the Earth's atmosphere they are travelling at over 100,000mph or 60 kilometres per second.

One of the most attractive and anticipated celestial events is the Perseid meteor shower, which happens every year.

First of all, the full moon just happened a few days ago, and it will still be quite bright tonight.

Interpretive Park Ranger Breanna Corp at Whiskeytown National Recreation Center said this is one of the biggest meteor showers of the year. Peak viewing will be Friday night, early Saturday, Saturday night and early Sunday.

"You could see none at all for a few minutes and then two or three". Best thing to do is try and stay up late till midnight or even later, as that will give you the best shot to catch the meteors.

The Perseids are so-called because the point from which they appear, known as the radiant, lies in the constellation of Perseus.

The Perseid meteors, shed by comet Swift-Tuttle, are a recurring August phenomenon and are among the brightest of all shooting stars. At certain times they can be close together and at others seem to disappear.

Each year the Earth travels through the tail of dust and ice left behind by the comet.

Vanessa Coleman

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