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Clear skies ahead for Perseids UK meteor shower

Forecasters say the weather conditions are looking good for the Perseid meteor shower which should be clearly visible from late evening tonight to early Tuesday morning in the United Kingdom.

Matt Dobson of MeteoGroup, the weather section of the Press Association spoke out “It’s looking pretty good for people to have a chance to see the meteor shower across large parts of the country, including the London area, with a lot of clear skies expected on Monday night.”We are expecting it to be clearest in parts of central and southern England and also in the east of Wales, with clear spells coming and going from dusk onward.

“It should be a little bit cloudier in western parts of the country such as Cornwall, Devon, the west of Wales, Cumbria and western Scotland.

“The best thing for star gazers to do is obviously to get away from any sources of light in big cities.”

The Perseid meteor shower is a yearly event however according to the Royal Astronomical Society this one tonight should be particularly good, with up to 60 shooting stars an hour visible in the United Kingdom.
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There is no requirement for expensive, high powered telescopes with the natural occurrence visible with the naked eye. The meteors are in fact material falling from the tall of Comet Swift Tuttle which passed close to earth in 1992.

Professor Alan Fitzsimmons of Queen’s University Belfast said “Comet Swift-Tuttle won’t be visiting our neck of the woods again until the year 2125, but every year we get this beautiful reminder as the Earth ploughs through the debris it leaves in its orbit.

Every meteor is a speck of comet dust vaporising as it enters our atmosphere at 36 miles per second. What a glorious way to go.”

According to the Guardian newspaper “Brecon Beacons in south Wales has been tipped as one of the best places to watch the meteor shower but is expected to see cloud come in from Ireland later in the night.

Galloway Forest Park, which can boast being one of only four “Dark Sky Parks” in the western world, will also have some cloudy patches.

Those wishing to see the spectacle in the London area and the south east are advised to head for the North Downs or the Chilterns.

People may also get a glimpse of larger “fireballs”, according to Brendan Owens, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich.”

Kitguru says: Should be an interesting evening to catch a glimpse of the meteors.

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