Meteor shower set to light up British sky next week

Sussex stargazers will be hoping for clear skies next Saturday (Agust 12) as the Perseid meteor shower could light up the night sky.

Friday, 4th August 2017, 3:26 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 4:13 am
Perseid meteor shower

Named after the Perseus constellation, this annual galactic event takes place every August when “Earth ventures through trails of debris left behind by an ancient comet”, according to NASA.

This year’s Perseid meteor shower will be the debris from the tail of Comet Swift-Tuttle and will give stargazers a glimpse of around 100 meteors, or ‘shooting stars’, an hour.

Set to travel through the sky at 132,000 miles per hour in a north-easterly direction, the Perseid meteors can peak at anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit as they race through the sky.

“At that speed, even a smidgen of dust makes a vivid streak of light when it collides with Earth’s atmosphere,” says NASA.

But don’t worry about the meteor shower battering earth any time soon as most burn 50 miles above the planet.

It’s set to be a spectacular display of shooting stars, so look up to the sky on the evening of Saturday August 12 for your best chance of witnessing the Perseid meteor shower.