Huge Perseid meteor shower seen over UK

Butler, Pa - Meteor showers happen yearly, but only 1 meteor shower is the brightest.

In the USA, the meteor shower is being seen as an opening act for the first solar eclipse to cross that country in 99 years, which is expected on 21 August.

The shower was due to peak in the United Kingdom on Saturday night, in a display also visible in other parts of the world, reported the British Broadcasting Corporation.

Kim Harris from Haywards Heath also tweeted to say she saw two meteors in the space of 10 minutes last night.

"You could see none at all for a few minutes and then two or three".

But if you do go and see the meteor shower this weekend, this is one space spectacle that you don't need eye protection for. It is best to avoid pollution when planning to witness such an astronomical event, so a countryside sky may offer a better view.

"It unfortunately is not going to be good as previous year because the big bright moon will be washing out some of the dimmer meteors".

There is only one problem.

Typical rates are about 80 meteors an hour, but in 2017 the Perseids were a little more hard to see due to the presence of the moon, which is three-quarters full, leaving some 40 to 50 per hour being visible.

"Usually in the United Kingdom we are either clouded out or suffer the ill effects of the Moon on meteor showers, and they usually end in disappointment", &The astronomer explained.

"Last year we had around 500 people". The comets travel at extreme speeds of around 132,000 miles per hour (59 kilometers per second), which is around 500 times faster than the world's fastest vehicle is capable of travelling.

The comet orbits the sun every 135 years. Each swing through the inner solar system can leave trillions of small particles in its wake.

The phenomenon is caused by debris from the tail of the Swift-Tuttle comet entering the Earth's atmosphere and burning up, appearing as bright streaks of light crossing the sky.

They are called the Perseids because they seem to come from near the north-east constellation Perseus, named after the Greek slayer of monsters.

Vanessa Coleman