ONE of the night sky’s most spectacular annual events will occur over the coming days with southern Spain expecting to witness close to 100 ‘shooting stars’ an hour.
The Perseid meteor shower visual spectacle will reach its climax this week and will be observable to all without the need for telescopic equipment or an observatory.
This annual event falls during August when the Earth’s orbit aligns with a comet known as Swift-Tuttle. Fragments from the space rock collide with our atmosphere and the result is the stunning ‘shooting star’ phenomenon expected to light up our night skies this week.
Stargazers and thrill seekers who wish to catch a glimpse of the Perseid meteor shower should look to the north-east this week after nightfall.
Finding a vantage point away from the city lights is recommended to ensure the clearest views. For those by the coast, beaches will offer the perfect place to see the shower.
This week sees the Moon enter the darkest phase of its lunar cycle making conditions perfect for the red-hot meteorites to illuminate the skies.
Adjusting the eyes to the darkness of the night and having a little patience are key.
Once set, the night sky will fill with flurries of meteorites, skipping across the darkness in their hundreds.