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Watch the Perseids

Earth is entering the zone of the greatest concentration of meteorites for the year.

The Perseid meteor shower peaks on 12-13 August, but can be observed from 23 July to 20 August. The shower consists of bright fast meteors with trains - up to 75 per hour - associated with the Swift-Tuttle Comet.

The meteors are named after the Perseus constellation, which is where they appear to come from. They are pieces of debris from the tail of the Comet which, at 16 miles diameter, is the largest object known to repeatedly pass Earth. It orbits the sun ever 133 years and each time it passes through the inner solar system, it warms up - releasing material into its orbital stream. The last time it was closest to the sun was December 1992; the next time will be July 2126.

The best time to take a look at the sky will be from about 0100 BST until dawn - the meteors will appear to come from the direction of the Perseus constellation to the north-east.

Further details from the links below . .

  • 23 July 2017
  • RIN

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