If you’ve always dreamed of seeing a shooting star, you’ll be happy to hear that you’ll soon have the opportunity.
The Perseid meteor shower will light up skies over the UK next month.
And with around 60-70 meteors expected per hour, there’s a very good chance you’ll be able to spot one.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Perseid meteor shower, including when it is, and how you can see it.
When is the Perseid meteor shower?
The meteor shower will peak on the evenings of August 11 and 12.
On these nights, there are expected to be around 60-70 meteors every hour.
Speaking to Space.com , Bill Cooke, a meteor expert at NASA, said: “This year the moon will be near new moon, it will be a crescent, which means it will set before the Perseid show gets underway after midnight.
“The moon is very favourable for the Perseids this year, and that’ll make the Perseids probably the best shower of 2018 for people who want to go out and view it.”
For your best chance of seeing the shooting stars, look to the skies from 21:30 onwards.
How to watch the Perseid meteor shower
Skywatchers in the northern hemisphere will have the best view of the meteor shower.
Head for a dark area with little light pollution, such as the countryside or the suburbs.
According to Mr Cooke it takes around 2 hours for your eyes to adjust to the dark – so try to be patient!
Where do the meteors come from?
Every year, from around July 17 to August 24, Comet Swift-Tuttle passes by our planet.
As the comet passes, it releases small pieces of debris, that slam into the Earth’s upper atmosphere, producing a bright light that can be seen from Earth.
If our planet happens to pass through a dense clump of comet debris, we’ll see a higher number of shooting stars.
When is the next meteor shower?
If you miss the Perseid meteor shower, there’s good news – you don’t have to wait too long for the next one.
The Orionids meteor shower will take place on October 21.
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