Meteor shower lights up Sussex sky

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The Perseid shower is expected to last until August 24.

The annual Perseid meteor shower will peak between late Saturday and early Sunday, with around 150 shooting stars per hour predicted, the Taipei Astronomical Museum said Friday.

Consider this weekend's Perseid meteor shower an opening act for the total solar eclipse on August 21.

Perseid meteor showers occur each year when Earth hits a wide belt of debris left behind by the ancient comet, Tuttle-Swift, on its elongated, 133-year orbit around the Sun.

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NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke says the Perseids may be the most popular meteor shower of the year, according to Space.com.

If you missed out on the meteor-spotting fun, there is still a chance over the next few nights, or there is the next noteworthy meteor shower in December - the Geminid Meteor Shower. In dark skies away from city lights you may see up to 40-50 meteors per hour.

"The Perseids in 2017 have been the opposite: performing as soon as it got dark and giving many their first glimpse of a meteor easily. The moonlight can create a haze and reduce the number of shooting stars you see".

He said: "We can look forward to a decent display, even though they aren't going to be raining down from the sky".

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The Perseids are so-called because the point from which they appear, known as the radiant, lies in the constellation of Perseus.

"The Perseids can be very bright and often quite spectacular", said Mr Scagell.

"I think under good conditions you might see one or two a minute, probably more towards Sunday morning rather than Saturday". Every year, the Earth passes through this trail, and the debris passes through the upper atmosphere at 130,000 miles an hour, approximately.

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