IF you’ve ever wanted to wish on a shooting star tonight could be your night as it’s the start of the Perseid Meteor Shower.
The Perseid’s start in July and remain visible until mid August.
The Perseid Meteor Shower usually peaks around August 11 to 13 but it’s still possible to see its meteors before or after those dates.
It happens every year when Earth crosses paths with debris left behind from Comet Swift-Tuttle.
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.
How to watch Perseid Meteor Shower
To see the meteors you’ll need to choose and evening between now and August 14 for a spot of stargazing.
Predawn hours are the best time to look so that’s anytime between midnight and sunrise.
The meteors appear to radiate from the tip of the Perseus constellation, hence their name.
However, you don’t necessarily need to locate this as the fireballs can appear all over the sky.
Go somewhere dark with limited light pollution and a clear view of the night sky.
You won’t need a telescope or binoculars as it’s better to have as big a view of the sky as possible.
You’ll need to hope for clear skies and look a few hours to try and spot as many as possible.
Typically, the shower displays around 60 meteors an hour but you could see up to 100 at it’s peak.
If you don’t see many meteors in July, try looking again in August.
If you’re unsure what you’re looking at you could always download a night sky scanning app that lets your smartphone pinpoint constellations and stars.
Make sure you give your eyes a break from your phone afterwards though, stargazing is best when your eyes have adjusted to the dark.
Stargazing apps for Android and iPhone include: SkyView Lite, Star Tracker and Star Walk 2.
Some apps are free but a lot of them charge so it depends if you want to put up with adverts or not.
It’s advisable to read the reviews of an app and look at how many people have rated it before downloading.
In other space news, Sir Richard Branson has described his landmark spaceflight over the weekend as “extreme in every way” and a “dream come true”.
Stunning footage of Sir Richard floating around his Virgin space plane has gone viral on social media.
And, scientists have identified the place where aliens are most likely lurking in the Milky Way.
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