Chris Hadfield weighs in on the Perseid meteor shower

If you can see through the clouds, there's a meteor shower happening tonight in Ireland

August is a big month for stargazers and astronomy fans, but this weekend's meteor shower may leave a little bit to be desired.

The annual Perseids is predicted to be one of the most spectacular shows of the year - but don't worry if you're missing out tonight, the display is expected to dazzle the skies for a whole week.

Met Eireann predict that skies will be clear for Irish star-gazers to see the celestial fireworks display.

Robin Scagell, vice president of the Society for Popular Astronomy, said he was still hopeful of a good display.

Consider this weekend's Perseid meteor shower an opening act for the total solar eclipse on August 21.

If you can see through the clouds, there's a meteor shower happening tonight in Ireland
A nice finish to the weekend

"You could see none at all for a few minutes and then two or three".

But you don't have to me a club member to watch the meteors at the park. The Perseid shower's peak in 2018 will coincide with a new moon, according to Scientific American, meaning much clearer skies and many more meteors visible to the naked eye.

The Perseids are called so because the point from which they appear to hail (called the radiant) lies in the constellation Perseus.

Because the density of the dust cloud varies, the meteors will not be evenly spaced out. "So be sure you can at least devote an hour or more to viewing to be able to get the best show". At certain times they could be close together and at others seem to disappear.

Astronomers are projecting a slightly higher than normal rate of 150 meteors per hour across North America. As the Earth crosses its orbit, it ploughs through some of the debris left by the icy object on previous visits.


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