‘Impressive’ Perseid meteor shower seen over UK

  • 13 August 2017
  • From the section UK

A meteor captured above the Jill Windmill in West Sussex early on SundayImage copyright Reuters
Image caption Meteors captured above the Jill Windmill in West Sussex early on Sunday

The Perseid meteor shower has been seen over parts of the UK, giving stargazers the opportunity to spot scores of shooting stars in the sky.

The shower was due to peak in the UK on Saturday night, in a display also visible in other parts of the world.

Stargazers took to social media to say they have seen the display, in which 100 meteors had been expected an hour.

The Perseid meteor shower occurs every July and August as the Earth passes debris from the Swift-Tuttle comet.

Image copyright @KeithTrueman
Image caption BBC News website reader Keith Trueman captured the meteor shower against the background of the Milky Way on Exmoor

Image copyright Bob Girling
Image caption Bob Girling witnessed this impressive sight above Chilton, Oxfordshire, at around 23:20 BST

Image copyright Michiko Smith
Image caption Michiko Smith took a series of photos, including this one, from his back garden in Normanton, West Yorkshire

Image copyright Alan Saunders
Image caption Relatively clear skies above Ide, near Exeter, gave Alan Saunders a chance to photograph the meteor shower from his house

Image copyright Darren Felgate
Image caption Reader Darren Felgate said this was taken from his back garden near the cricket ground in Scarborough

Image copyright Brian Gibson
Image caption Brian Gibson captured a Perseid meteor passing through the constellation of Ursa Major from his back garden in Milngavie, Glasgow at 23:03 BST

The BBC Weather centre had said it would peak from 23:00 BST on Saturday and could be seen in most parts of the UK.

Former England cricketer Paul Collingwood was among those who attempted to spot the meteors.

He tweeted that the shower had been “impressive”.

Writer Robert Macfarlane‏ said the “eye-searing silver sky-scratches beat any firework display I’ve ever seen”.

However, not everyone spotted the shower so easily.

BBC political correspondent Chris Mason tweeted that he had tried to view the shower, but missed some of the shooting stars.

Experts had warned the Perseids could be harder to see this year as the Moon was three-quarters full.

Robin Scagell, vice president of the Society for Popular Astronomy, said he hoped for a good display.

“We can look forward to a decent display, even though they aren’t going to be raining down from the sky.

“The Perseids can be very bright and often quite spectacular. Some meteor showers are slow, but we are moving into the Perseid stream so they are coming at us quite swiftly.

“I think under good conditions you might see one or two a minute, probably more towards Sunday morning rather than Saturday.”

But he said stargazers might need some luck, adding: “You could see none at all for a few minutes and then two or three.

“You might be lucky or unlucky; that’s the way with meteors.”


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