Perseids meteor shower to peak over South Yorkshire skies tonight

The Perseids meteor shower is set to light up the skies above South Yorkshire this week
The Perseids meteor shower is set to light up the skies above South Yorkshire this week
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The Perseids meteor shower will reach its peak tonight, and South Yorkshire stargazers could see as many as 100 shooting stars an hour during the spectacle.

The good news is that skies over South Yorkshire are set to remain clear overnight, giving a clear sight of the dazzling show.

The meteors, created as space debris from the tail of the 109P/Swift-Tuttle comet strikes the Earth's atmosphere, are visible now, and will remain most visible until Thursday, 14 August.

They could lead to a spectacle of up to 100 meteors darting across the sky every hour during the peak, which this year falls on the morning of 13 August.

The Earth Sky website states: "On a dark, moonless night, you can often see 50 or more meteors per hour from northerly latitudes, and from southerly latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere, perhaps about one-third that many meteors.

"Fortunately, in 2015, the waning crescent moon comes up shortly before sunrise, so you're guaranteed of dark skies for this year's Perseid meteor shower."

MeteorWatch.org have issued the following advice on how to best view the meteors:

Find an area outside which has a wide view of the sky and away from bright lights to improve your chances of seeing more meteors.

Allow a few minutes for your eyes to adapt to the dark; you will then be able to see the fainter meteors which are more common.

Dress warmly, because in the middle of the night and early hours of the morning, it can be quite cold. Lie on the ground on a rug, with a sleeping bag or blanket, or sit on a reclining garden chair so you can spend as much time as possible looking up without craning your neck.

Standing and looking up for long periods can be uncomfortable and will reduce your chances of seeing those ‘wow’ meteors. Try to keep your gaze on the sky for as long as possible, many people have missed that perfect meteor when they looked away. You will also see aircraft and satellites!