Perseid meteor shower: Fireballs soar across the sky over Ireland with dozens to fly over UK

ONE of the most impressive meteor showers of the year put on a spectacular show across the sky.

Fireballs from the Perseid meteor shower were spotted over the Curragh in Ireland by stunned stargazers, with dozens to fly over the UK.



Up to 100 meteors per hour are set to shoot across the sky over the UK between 2am and 6am.

The 130,000mph celestial event happens every August when Earth crosses paths with debris left behind from Comet Swift-Tuttle.

In 2020, the peak is set to happen around August 11, 12 and 13.

The meteors appear to radiate from the tip of the Perseus constellation, hence their name.

You can try looking for them this evening and into the early hours of August 12.

To see them at their brightest though, look in the late evening of August 12 and into the early hours of the morning on August 13.



The Moon shouldn't be too bright at this time of the month so you may be able to see even the faintest of meteors.

Typically, the shower displays around 60 meteors an hour but you could see up to 100.

You'll need to be in a dark area like the bottom of a garden and try to avoid light pollution.

What's the difference between an asteroid, meteor and comet?

Here's what you need to know, according to Nasa…

  • Asteroid: An asteroid is a small rocky body that orbits the Sun. Most are found in the asteroid belt (between Mars and Jupiter) but they can be found anywhere (including in a path that can impact Earth)
  • Meteoroid: When two asteroids hit each other, the small chunks that break off are called meteoroids
  • Meteor: If a meteoroid enters the Earth's atmosphere, it begins to vapourise and then becomes a meteor. On Earth, it'll look like a streak of light in the sky, because the rock is burning up
  • Meteorite: If a meteoroid doesn't vapourise completely and survives the trip through Earth's atmosphere, it can land on the Earth. At that point, it becomes a meteorite
  • Comet: Like asteroids, a comet orbits the Sun. However rather than being made mostly of rock, a comet contains lots of ice and gas, which can result in amazing tails forming behind them (thanks to the ice and dust vapourising)

 

There are many phone apps that can help you locate constellations in the sky.

Once you've used your phone you'll need to give your eyes some time to adjust to the dark again.

A typical Perseid meteor is said to travel at 133,200 mph.

They burn up in our atmosphere and almost none of them hit the ground.

If they do they'll then be called a meteorite.

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