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Perseid meteor shower set to peak at weekend

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A Perseid meteor flashes across the night sky above Corfe Castle, in Dorset, in 2016

The Perseid meteor shower will peak over the weekend, giving stargazers the opportunity to spot scores of shooting stars in the sky.

Astronomers say hundreds of meteors will streak across the sky in a display that may be visible around the world.

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

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

However, experts say the Perseids could be harder to see this year as the Moon will be three-quarters full.

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Robin Scagell, vice president of the Society for Popular Astronomy, said he was still hopeful of 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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