BBC Home
Explore the BBC



Last Updated: Sunday August 12 2007 18:55 GMT

Meteor shower to light up the sky

The trail of a Perseid meteor against a starry sky at dusk

If you happen to glimpse up to the sky on Sunday night you may be able to spot something pretty cool.

A big meteor shower appears around this time every year, and with the warm weather at the moment this could be one of the best years to get a good look.

The shower is called the Perseid meteor shower, and while it will be brightest on Monday, it all starts on Sunday.

Experts say if you want to try spotting the meteors it's best to look for them in the darkest part of the night sky.

On Sunday night and early Monday morning experts reckon we may able to see as many as 100 meteors an hour.

There is also a new Moon which should make the skies darker and the meteors easier to see.

The meteor showers are caused by tiny bits of space dust - about the size of a grain of sand - that burn up when they enter the Earth's atmosphere.

When that happens the air around them gets so hot that it creates a streak of light that can be seen from the ground.

Experts say you should get a good view on Sunday night, from around 10pm.

Diagram showing location of the Perseid shower in the night sky (Image: BBC)
How to find the meteor shower in the night sky

BBC Homepage >> | CBBC Homepage >>

Meet the Team | Help | Contact Us | News sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy