Perseid meteor shower set to peak: What you need to know

Tuesday, 13 Aug, 2019

The meteors are caused by debris left in the wake of Comet Swift-Tuttle.

The Perseid meteor shower will peak tonight in the sky over the United Kingdom, with scores of brilliant shooting stars potentially illuminating the gloom every minute. The Perseids showcase more bright meteors than any other annual meteor shower. "Using either reduces the amount of sky you can see at one time, lowering the odds that you'll see anything but darkness", NASA officials wrote in a meteor shower guide. This will continue until the early hours of the morning.

"A very bright moon washes out a lot of light", said Goetz. Meteor showers are a great opportunity for time-lapse videos and long-exposure photography, allowing your shots of the night sky to turn into van Gogh-like paintings of this starry spectacle.

"The Perseid meteor shower is often considered to be one of the best meteor showers of the year due to its high rates and pleasant late-summer temperatures", a blog post on the NASA website explains.

"On the night of the peak (August 12-13) you will only have a scant few minutes of dark sky between moon set and twilight - not much time to see Perseids", said the space agency, in its blog post.

From around midnight tonight, an incredible display of meteors will light up the skies over Britain (weather permitting, of course).

For those who can't make it outside, NASA is running a live camera feed from Alabama starting around 6pm PT on August 12 as is the Virtual Telescope Project in Europe from 3pm PT.

The Draconid meteor shower is the next meteor shower to mark on your calendar, which falls on October 8, followed by the Orionid meteor shower, which will take place on October 21. If you trace back all of the meteors during the upcoming shower, they will all originate from a part of the sky near the constellation Perseus.