How to see the Perseid meteor shower in the UK

Perseid meteor shower Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

One of the greatest meteor showers of the year will light up the sky just before dawn on Thursday.

If skies are clear, the Perseid meteor shower should be visible across the UK early on Thursday morning, according to astronomers at Royal Observatory Greenwich.

The astronomical event is associated with the dusty debris left by Comet Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the sun once every 133 years and should lead to up to 150 meteors being per hour being on display.

(PA Graphics) Credit: PA Graphics

If you want to see the display here are some tips to make sure you get the best experience.

When the meteor shower be visible

The meteor shower began on July 17 and will continue to be visible until August 24.

The best time to view them in the UK will be during Thursday morning, between midnight and 5.30am.

If you can't manage it on Thursday, then it is possible you might be able to see some during those hours on other days.

Make sure to check the weather

If you want to make sure you can see the meteor shower in all its glory then you should plan ahead.

Key to anyone's viewing experience is a clear night sky, so you could check the weather forecast.

There are thunderstorms predicted through the week, but there should still be some areas of the country you can see it.

Ensure you get the best viewing experience

If you want to ensure you have the best possible chance to catch the Perseid meteor shower then there are a few steps you can take.

Anna Ross, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, told the PA: “During the peak night of the shower, you will be able to find it in the north-east of the sky, getting higher throughout the night.

The Royal Observatory in Greenwich Credit: PA

Ms Ross added stargazers should try and avoid well-lit areas and try and find an unobstructed view of the east.

You should also try and keep off your phone while you're waiting around for the show to begin because your eyes need time to adjust to the dim light of the night sky.

It's also best to avoid using telescopes or binoculars so you can see as much of the sky as possible.

What is the Perseid meteor shower

The meteors are shards that have come off the 109P/Swift-Tuttle comet, as the pieces - some no bigger than a grain of sand - get closer to our atmosphere they begin to burn up producing the recognisable stream of light in the sky.Peak temperatures can reach anywhere from 1,648C to 5,537C as they speed across the sky.

The meteors are called Perseids because they seem to dart out of the constellation Perseus.