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Skies clear in time for peak of meteor shower

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STAR GAZERS DELIGHT

Once a year the Earth moves through the debris of an old comet called Swift -Tuttle, creating a display of shooting stars in the night sky from late July until late August.

At it's peak on the 12th & 13th August (and with good viewing conditions) it is possible to see more than 100 shooting stars per hour.

Star gazers will be looking for clear, cloudless skies to have the best possible chance of catching a glimpse of the meteor shower, and tonight should not disappoint. Head up to the hills if you can, as there could just be a bit of low lying mist and fog as skies clear, temperatures dip and winds drop out.

To see the meteor shower you don’t need a telescope, binoculars or any other equipment. All you need is your eyes! Although it may be quite tempting to try and take pictures, this is actually quite difficult. Enjoy the moment.

GET COMFORTABLE

For best results find a location away from light pollution, the more rural the better! Find a spot away from bright lights and let your eyes get used to the dark. (This will take about 15 to 20 minutes).

Dress accordingly as August evenings can get quite chilly. Rural spots overnight could dip down into single figures (5-7C in well sheltered locations).

Lay on a reclining chair or lounger, or just put a blanket on the floor.

Use sleeping bags, blankets, and pillows, along with some food and drink, to make observing meteors as enjoyable as possible

START LOOKING

You do not need to look in any particular direction as meteors appear randomly anywhere in the sky, but your are more likely to see them after midnight, in the early hours, before dawn.

The most important thing is to be able to keep looking up, filling your gaze with as much sky as possible, for as long as possible.

The patient observer will be the luckiest - it can take quite a few minutes before you see a shooting star so don’t look away, you may miss one!

Good luck!