Published On: Tue, Aug 13th, 2019

Perseids 2019: Everything you need to know about the dazzling meteor shower tonight | Science | News

The Perseids are the yearly meteor shower produced by the orbital debris of Comet Swift-Tuttle. The shower is active from mid-July until the last week of August when individual meteors zip across the sky. But August 12 marks the shower’s main peak where hundreds of shooting stars light up the night.

The debris which creates the meteors is the largest object to make repeated passes near planet Earth.

The Comet Swift-Tuttle measures 16 miles across and is almost the same size as the comet which wiped out the dinosaurs.

But the Perseids, which travel at 133,200mph, are the size of sand grains.

According to predictions, the comet will fly by Earth in 3044 after it was last visible from the planet in 1992.

READ MORE: Meteor showers 2019: How many meteor showers are there this year?

NASA will live stream the Perseid shooting star show from its Meteor Watch Facebook page, found HERE.

The NASA Perseid live stream kicks-off from 1am BST (8pm EDT) tonight and will continue until the early hours of Tuesday, August 13.

Met Office meteorologist Bonnie Diamond confirmed: “It should look like a decent night for most places.

“Weather tonight is largely dry for many but there is potentially some showers affecting western coasts later this evening and generally dying out overnight, where it might be cloudier.

“So there will be a bit of cloud around but some really good gaps.”

Despite the promising weather this year’s Perseids will not be at their best because of the bright Moon in the sky.

Yet one cause for optimism is the Moon hangs relatively low in the southern sky during the northern hemisphere’s summer.

This is because the Earth’s axis tilts towards the Sun during the day and away from the Moon at night.

This will consequently reduce the problem of this week’s approaching Sturgeon Full Moon.

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