Best meteor shower of 2018 takes place over Ireland tonight

Best meteor shower of 2018 takes place over Ireland tonight

And even though it doesn't peak until the nights of August 11-12 (Saturday night) or 12-13 (Sunday night), it is already producing the fireball meteors that the Perseids are famous for. However, the meteors can appear anywhere in the sky.

"The Perseids have been observed for around 2000 years, and are the result of Earth passing through a cloud of dust left behind Comet Swift-Tuttle".

As the particles, ranging in size from a grain of sand to a pea, hit the Earth's atmosphere at 60km (37 miles) per second, they burn up and streak across the sky.

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Ellis said you can expect to see 50-100 meteors per hour, "shooting stars". So the key is to pick a spot with less light pollution and find time when it is least cloudy. Hence, in addition to enjoying the spectacular meteor show, you will be contributing to body of knowledge and database enriching the meteor science and research in this area.

"The Perseids this year coincides with new moon, meaning moonlight isn't going to interfere with the cosmic show", Quanzhi Ye, postdoctoral fellow in astrophysics, California Institute of Technology, US, told ThePrint.

If you want to be a serious citizen scientist, you can report your meteor counts and statistics to the International Meteor Organization (based in Belgium), which will compile the observational records every year.

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Chinese astronomers are credited with the being the first to record an observation of the meteor shower back in 36 A.D.

"The moonless sky this year means the viewing will be excellent, and the shower's predicted peak is timed especially well for North America", Diana Hannikainen, Sky & Telescope magazine's observing editor, said in a statement.

The most popular shower of the year is here, and we don't mean the familiar drizzle.

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