Budding astronomers and stargazers in Ireland will be treated to the 'best meteor shower of the year' tonight and tomorrow.
The Perseids are one of the brightest batches of shooting stars visible from earth. According to Nasa, the Perseids “are considered the best meteor shower of the year”.
The shower is set be visible from Ireland on Tuesday and Wednesday night. Astronomers are optimistic that it will be a cool, clear night - ideal conditions for viewing meteor showers.
Meteors will be seen from dusk until dawn with 20 times more shooting stars than on a normal night. They will be able to be seen by the naked human eye, without a telescope or binoculars.
'The Beautiful Spectacle Of Nature'
Astronomy Ireland is calling on the public to count how many meteors they see every fifteen minutes during the Perseid Meteor Shower and then fill out a form on its website.
Speaking to The Journal, David Moore, editor of Astronomy Ireland magazine, said counting the Perseids “has real scientific value as we only know how these meteor showers develop by members of the public counting them while they view the beautiful spectacle of nature that is a meteor shower”.
An annual occurrence, the shower comes around as the planet drifts through a debris cloud left behind by the giant comet Swift-Tuttle.
Dust, pebbles and cosmic detritus from the comet slam into the Earth’s atmosphere. They burn up and transform into fleeting, bright streaks visible across the night sky.