Here's how you can watch the Perseid meteor shower in Britain tonight

Wednesday 12 August 2015 08:50
Science and Tech

The annual Perseid meteor shower reaches its peak tonight and coincides with a new moon for the first time since 2007, meaning darker skies and so optimal viewing conditions — weather permitting.

It will be a late night for avid stargazers with the best of the meteor shower expected to occur around midnight.

Here are 5 other things to know:

1. The meteoroids enter Earth's atmosphere at roughly 133,200mph.

2. The comet Swift-Tuttle, whose debris creates the Perseids, has a nucleus that is about six miles in diameter.

3. The particles can reach over 1,650 degrees centigrade and disintegrate, creating the spectacular display.

4. Up to 100 shooting stars per hour could be visible in the northern hemisphere.

5. Most of the debris that reaches the Earth is over 1,000 years old, according to Nasa.

More: This beautiful Nasa gif is truly mesmerising