The Perseid meteor shower reached its peak last night, filling the sky with up to 20 shooting stars an hour.

But with cloudy and rainy weather across much of the UK, few were able to catch a glimpse of the spectacular celestial event.

Tonight is looking more hopeful, however, with dry conditions forecast, and clear spells expected across most parts of the UK.

And luckily the Perseid meteor shower is still in full flow, with plenty of shooting stars to be seen.

The bad news is that the waxing moon doesn’t set until around 03.15 BST on Wednesday morning – and it is just days away from being a full moon.

This means it will be giving off a lot of light, making meteors harder to spot.


If you can stomach an early start, the best time to see meteors will be after the moon sets at 03.15, and before the sun rises 05.45 on Wednesday morning – provided, of course, that the rain hasn’t set in by then.

The British weather is, as we all know, a fickle mistress.

What is the Perseid meteor shower?

Every year, Earth passes through the trail of debris left behind by Comet Swift-Tuttle during its last visit to the inner solar system in 1992.

As tiny pieces of comet debris collide with our atmosphere, they burn up, resulting in a meteor shower.

Swift-Tuttle’s debris zone is so wide that Earth spends weeks inside it. Indeed, it is not unusual for sky watchers to see a few Perseids streaking across the midnight sky as early as July.

However, rates are highest in August when Earth passes through the heart of the debris zone.

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How to watch the Perseid meteor shower

To give yourself the best chance of spotting some shooting stars, pick an observing spot away from bright lights, face toward the east and look up.

Remember to let your eyes become adjusted to the dark. It takes about 30 minutes.

Try to stay off of your phone too, as looking at devices with bright screens will negatively affect your night vision and hence reduce the number of meteors you see.

The Perseids generally appear to radiate from a point just to the left of the Pleiades star cluster, but they can appear pretty much anywhere on the sky.





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