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Monday, September 20, 2021

The best shooting star shower of the year will be visible tonight

Tonight is your chance to witness a spectacular event in the sky, as the Perseid meteor shower will be visible above Ireland tonight.

The annual event occurs when the planet crosses the orbit of the comet Swift-Tuttle, which ejects particles that burn in our atmosphere, creating shooting stars which are visible from earth.


The showers have been taking place throughout the country all week but have been hidden from the public eye by clouds.

Extremely windy weather is expected to ease the visibility of the night sky, providing a chance for people to catch a glimpse of the showers, with 60 meteors an hour expected.

Astronomy Ireland Magazine editor David Moore stated, “Tonight is the peak, just after the sun sets, after it gets dark, say about 10pm onwards. That’s when we should see the most shooting stars,” while adding that it’s the “best shooting star shower of the year”.


The meteors will be visible from dusk until dawn with nearly 1 to 2 meteors per minute.

In regards to spectating the event, Moore stated, “You do not need any telescopes or binoculars, just normal human eyesight, oh, and a clear sky, but a few clouds won’t spoil the view especially as you have all the hours of darkness to see them and this shower is known for producing some brilliant fireballs.”

Those who live in the country will see quite a significant number of meteors while those in the countryside will see the most. However, everyone should get a chance to see the shooting stars if the sky is clear.

He also added that there is scientific value to people counting how many meteors they see every 15 minutes as it helps us to understand how these meteor showers develop.

If you wish to participate in counting the meteors, details are available on astronomy.ie.


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