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Watch out for shooting stars in the skies this weekend

A layered image of the Perseid meteor shower in August 2010
A layered image of the Perseid meteor shower in August 2010

THE PERSEID METEOR shower will be visible in the skies above Ireland tonight and over the weekend.

Irish Weather Online reports that weather conditions this evening are favourable for some stargazing, particularly in East Leinster before midnight. Cloud cover is likely in other parts of the country tonight, but according to Met Eireann tomorrow night will be largely clear in many parts of the country.

Astronomy Ireland has said that tomorrow night will be the optimum night for viewing the Perseid meteors, and the organisation is urging people to take part in a ‘Nationwide Perseid Watch’, and to count how many meteors they see in the sky every 15 minutes. The reports can then be emailed to Astronomy Ireland at meteor@astronomy.ie. You can visit the Astronomy Ireland website for more details.

The Washington Post reports that the Perseid Meteor Shower is caused by the Earth passing through the debris stream of the Comet Swift-Tuttle, leaving a stream of fireballs in its wake.

It’s feared that a full moon may hamper viewing the meteor shower at it’s best, but the display should still be quite clearly visible.

If you take any pictures of the meteor shower this weekend, send them into us: tips@thejournal.ie

The Perseids will appear to originate from a point in the north west. Image: Astronomy Ireland

WATCH: Timelapse video of  the Perseid Meteor Shower as seen from Joshua Tree National Park>

Watch the skies for aurora borealis and shooting stars>

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