'Best meteor shower of the year' to peak over Ireland tonight

The Perseids will bring 20 times more shooting stars than normal, according to Astronomy Ireland.
'Best meteor shower of the year' to peak over Ireland tonight

A meteor shower, which is being described as the best of the year, is due to peak on Wednesday and Thursday night, with up to 20 times more shooting stars than normal expected.

This year on the shower's peak, the moon will be in a thin crescent phase, creating perfect viewing conditions without interference from moonlight - something which has not occurred since 2015, according to Astronomy Ireland.

The meteors are best viewed from the Northern Hemisphere and in ideal conditions, with no clouds, observers could see up to 50 an hour.

Met Éireann is forecasting patchy cloud and clear spells over the south and east on Thursday night, though there will be some showers in the west and north.

Astronomy Ireland chairman David Moore said a few clouds will not spoil the display however, as "you have all the hours of darkness to see them and this shower is known for producing some brilliant fireballs". No telescope is needed, he added, as the activity will be visible to the human eye.

Astronomy Ireland are also asking the public to count the Perseids this year, keeping track of how many can be spotted every 15 minutes. The information can then be sent to the group, with more information available on Astronomy Ireland's website.

The meteor shower, which takes place in July and August each year, is set to continue over the Northern Hemisphere with reduced activity for a few days after the peak.

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