Last night we set our alarm for 1.30am and set out to see the Perseids meteor shower, clearly visible with the naked eye and peaking between 10 – 13th August. We stayed out for about an hour and saw about a dozen shooting stars on a still, clear night.
Most meteors quickly streaked across part of the sky before quickly vanishing. Blink and you’d miss it. However, one stand-out meteor – brighter than any star in the sky – blazed a long trail almost horizontally from West to East and lasting about three seconds. Wow !
Meteors, also known as shooting stars, are small particles of material that collide with the Earth’s upper atmosphere at speeds of 36 miles per second, vaporising into flashes of light in the process.
Debris from the tail of the Swift-Tuttle Comet collides with the atmosphere on the Earth’s annual migration around the Sun and appear to originate from the constellation of Perseus, hence the name for the meteor shower.