Star gazers' may be disappointed
THERE is disappointing news for Suffolk star gazers today as the weekend's weather is set to spoil the chances of spotting a meteor shower.The world is awaiting celestial fireworks as Earth makes its annual rendezvous with the Perseid meteors.
THERE is disappointing news for Suffolk star gazers today as the weekend's weather is set to spoil the chances of spotting a meteor shower.
The world is awaiting celestial fireworks as Earth makes its annual rendezvous with the Perseid meteors.
At its peak tomorrow evening and Sunday morning, the meteor shower may produce 80 to 100 shooting stars an hour.
However, Evening Star weather expert Ken Blowers said a bright moon and too much cloud is looking to spoil the fun.
He said: “There's going to be a great deal of cloud over East Anglia tomorrow, Sunday and Monday to people's chances of seeing the meteors are pretty slim unfortunately.
“For the last four or five years I've tried to spot them but it's always been too cloudy - it's the time of the year.
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“Also the moon has been full this week and when it's bright ion the sky it makes things like this even harder to see.
“People can increase their chances by looking through binoculars but even then the chances are slim.”
Meteors can appear anywhere, but sky-watchers will get the best view by looking to the north-east, where the sky will be darkest.
Claire Gilby, from the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, London, said: "Unlike many astronomical objects, meteors are visible to the naked eye and observers need no special equipment to view them.”
The Perseids are tiny particles, ranging in size from a grain of sand to a pea, shed long ago by the comet Swift-Tuttle.
Over the centuries the particles have spread along the comet's 130-year orbit.
Every mid-August, the Earth's own path round the Sun takes it through the particle stream. The grains hit the atmosphere at 37 miles per second and burn up, streaking across the sky in flashes of white light.