Perseid meteor shower 2021: Will the spectacle be visible in Lancashire? When, where and how to see it at its peak
Stargazers are set to be treated to a light display as Perseid meteor shower reaches its peak this week.
The meteors will be best viewed from the northern hemisphere. In ideal conditions with no clouds observers could see up to 50 an hour, according to the Royal Astronomical Society.
The meteor shower is often dubbed the best of the year because of how bright and active it is.
But will it be visible in Lancashire? Here we answer some of the most common questions.
What causes the Perseid meteor shower?
When comets travel close to the sun, they heat up and disintegrate. If this happens in Earth’s path around the sun, they can head towards our atmosphere at high speeds.
The superheated air around the meteors glows and leaves behind trails of light and explosions in the form of fireballs.
During a shower, Earth passes through a cloud of debris left behind by comets, and so many more meteors are seen entering the atmosphere.
The Perseids are associated with Comet 109/P Swift-Tuttle, which last passed near Earth in 1992.
When will the meteor shower be at its peak?
While the meteor shower can be seen any time from mid-July through to late August, the spectacle is expected to peak on the night of August 12 into the early hours of August 13 when the sky is at its darkest.
Where is the best place to see the meteor shower in Lancashire?
The best way to catch a glimpse of the radiant show is away from trees and the lights of towns, cities and buildings, and where there is a clear view of the horizon.
This year on the peak, the moon will be in a thin crescent phase, creating perfect viewing conditions without interference from moonlight.
Stargazers in Lancashire keen to see the shower are advised to search out wide-open areas, such as parks, to get the best views this week.
Coastline with limited light pollution will also make a great spot to watch the event.
Stargazers won't require any specialist equipment to make the most of the shower.
Will the skies be clear on August 12?
Cloudy conditions are expected to persist into Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, with some light rain possible.
While this may obscure some of the Perseid meteor shower, breaks in the cloud could provide opportunities for stargazers throughout the night.