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Look up: Irish people will see shooting stars tonight
13 August 2017, 01:18 | Lucia Cruz
The annual weeks long Perseid meteor shower will hit its peak Saturday with best viewing after
Some meteor showers are slow, but we are moving into the Perseid stream so they are coming at us quite swiftly.
The Perseids were the first meteor shower to be linked to a comet when astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli spotted their association with Swift-Tuttle in 1862. It's also when the Earth will be the most within the stream of Swift-Tuttle. It last passed near Earth during its orbit around the sun in 1992, and the next time will be in 2126.
According to Space.com, "Typical rates are about 80 meteors an hour, but in outburst years (such as in 2016), the rate can be between 150-200 meteors an hour", NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke said.
The problem is, this year's peak night for the meteor shower will coincide with a almost full moon. The Perseids can be seen from the end of July with one meteor an hour crossing the skies. The moonlight will make a lot of the dimmer meteors invisible, which will lower the overall count. John French, MSU Abrams Planetarium said, "Best place to try to observe a meteor shower is really from any really dark location". The best time to look up will be after midnight - aka early in the morning of August 13 - when the sky will be darkest. However, the meteors will streak across the sky in all directions, so it doesn't really matter.
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