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Dublin: 19 °C Wednesday 5 August, 2020

There are going to be A LOT of shooting stars in the sky tonight

There is expected to be more than 20 times the average number of shooting stars.

IF YOU FIND yourself outside and away from the lights of the city this evening, make sure to look skywards.

There is a pretty good chance that you will be able to spot a shooting star.

This is because of something called the ‘Perseids’, a meteor shower that will be happening throughout this week and reaching its maximum on Wednesday night.

Astronomy Ireland is encouraging individuals to participate in a count of the stars as part of an international effort.

What can you expect to see?

The event is expected to create conditions where a shooting star can be seen around once every minute. This compares with an average of around once every 10 minute during an ordinary night.

meteor A photo taken of the shower in Ireland this week Source: Anthony Lynch

Peak activity is expected to take place on Wednesday night and with the visible activity continuing until Friday.

For the first time since 2007 the shower is set to coincide with the new moon.

How is this happening?

According to the BBC, the phenomenon happens each year in August the Earth passes through a cloud of debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle.

The debris is made up of ice and dust particles that heat the air around them as they break into the Earth’s atmosphere. This is what creates the streak of light that you see with shooting stars.

meteor102 signed Source: Anthony Lynch

The shower is visible from 17 July until 24 August each year, although for much of that period only a small number of meteors are visible. 

Speaking about the event, David Moore, editor of Astronomy Ireland’s magazine, has said that people should “ignore what they hear from other parts of the world about the night of the maximum” and remember that the display will be visible all week.

As there is expected to be a lot of cloud cover in Ireland, it is recommended that sky-gazers keep a look out throughout the week for the best chance of spotting the phenomenon.

Read: Pics: Want to see the Northern Lights? Keep your eyes on the sky over the next few nights

Also: Did you see the massive fireball over Ireland last night?

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