Perseid meteor shower to coincide with new moon for maximum effect | 12/13 August 2015

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Mark the date in your diary, August 12th and August 13th will see the return of the most reliable meteor shower on the calendar, the perseid meteor shower. Active every year in late July and early August, 2016 promises to deliver a better experience than usual as it coincides with a new moon period for optimal viewing.

Should skies remain clear after dark on the 12th and into the wee hours of the 13th then it is possible that viewers will be able to witness between 80 and 100 streaks of light per hour. These should be greatly enhanced by the dark night so enthusiasts will be glancing nervously at the weather forecast hoping for a bit of good news for the last piece of the jigsaw.

Director of the Armagh Observatory Mark Bailey said "The Perseid meteor shower is one of the best and most reliable meteor showers of the year. The French astronomer Jeremie Vaubaillon has also predicted that the Perseids may this year produce an outburst of activity around 7:40pm on 12 August."

Bailey thinks that this bodes well for those of us hoping to catch a glimpse of a spectacular meteor shower adding "Although it is unfortunately still daylight at that time in the UK and Ireland, it is just possible that enhanced rates may persist for a few hours around this time and so be observable soon after dark."

For those of you looking to view the perseid meteor shower make your way to an area away from town lights and bring a flask of hot water and some warm clothes to keep you warm for an hour. It is also a good idea to bring a blanket to keep the cold from the ground from seeping into your bones or alternatively a good reclining chair will set you up to see the passing meteor shower.

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