They’re predicted – and they could happen. From this weekend onwards, you might be seeing stars: shooting stars that is!
Meteor shower ‘the Perseids’ will appear and the outcome could be pretty spectacular.
Meteor showers happen when you get lots of meteors at one time. They’re centred mainly over the Northern Hemisphere; but we should get a good sprinkling here.
This is a good shower for beginners with estimates of a dozen or so per hour if they fire up. The best time for viewing will be from around midnight until an hour before sunrise. The best nights will be August 12 and early dawn August 13.
Meteors showers originate from leftover fragments of comets and asteroids, comets that travel through the sun leave dust behind.
When the Earth passes through that debris, those remnants clash with the atmosphere, disintegrate, and generate colourful, sparkling streaks we love to watch.
Meteors look pretty when they fall, but there’s money in those space rocks. Most contain extremely valuable metals with grades many times higher than those here on Earth.
If you’re keen, you can help gather important meteor data simply by switching on your phone. It’s no gimmick, it really works and is tons of fun. ‘Fireballs in the Sky’ is a new smartphone app for iOS and Android users to track the paths of meteors overhead.
As well as reporting detailed meteor sightings, the app also keeps you up to date with the latest images, news and sighting announcements.