The Perseid Meteor Shower: When And How To Watch

Want To See A Shooting Star?
10 August 2016

This week is a brilliant opportunity for you and your kids to see that elusive and magical sight - a shooting star. The Perseid Meteor Shower is a week long event that happens around this time every year and it's expected to peak over the next couple of days, from around the 11th to 13th August.

Hundreds of shooting stars will be visible each hour, and the best time to see them is from around 11pm each night until 4am, so you'll need to plan now if you want to let the kids stay up to see them. There should be some visible before that for younger kids to spot too, but there will be more nearer to midnight.

They will be visible anywhere in the UK as long as we have clear skies, so keep a close eye on the weather forecast as cloudy skies mean we'll be out of luck. At the moment it looks like the South East will have the best chance with the rest of us dodging the showers, but fingers crossed for us all!

The best thing about this yearly Perseid Meteor Shower is that you don't need any special equipment like telescopes or even binoculars as you can see them with the naked eye. Apparently the Perseids are in 'outburst' this year which means that there will be more that usual, so instead of around 80 an hour it could top 150 or even 200, so your chances are great of seeing them.

If you can it's best to find a wide open space with as little light as possible, and away from tall building or trees. If you aren't sure where to start then a free app like Google Sky Map or something similar will show you where to look. Search for the constellation Perseus and that's where the meteors will come from. If in doubt look to the north-east.

It's great fun to do with kids of all ages, and I managed to spot a few just from my back garden in the early evening last year - and there's plenty of trees and lights to get in the way so I can't imagine what it will look like if you manage to get somewhere with less light pollution.

If you want to know lots of information on exactly what you are looking at then one of the best places to look is the European Space Agency Kids website, as it explains it really clearly but without too much technobabble for the younger ones. It also gives you plenty of tips on where to watch out for them in the night sky.

What do you think, will you be spotting shooting starts with your kids this week?

15 comments

  • Jo S.

    It's unlikely that at 11pm I will be awake :joy:

  • Chelle B.

    Ooooh yes I must set a reminder! Xx

  • Charlie M.

    from 11pm Thursday look north east time for compass lol

  • Barbara B.

    Hope it's a clear night . :star::stars::star::stars::star::stars:

  • Claire G.

    I know usually like watching things like this x

    • Susan S.

      Ooh! Thank you xx

  • Fiona F.

    That's what I've been watching this week xx

  • Charlene M.

    i would like to see this xx

  • Connie B.

    I will not be going anywhere, but there is a very high chance I will be awake at some point between 11 and 4! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

  • Ronnie W.

    Oh wow hoping to see a few then x

  • Steviee

    love things like this

  • Angie B.

    We can make star cookies :)

  • Sam F.

    Yep, that's it! We're all set for stargazing on the trampoline although Molly has been a madam so think it will just be Steve and I :-)

  • Donna W.

    Sod the kids i want to see one :joy: xx

  • Helen P.

    Will have a look tonight ! For some reason? It hadn't occurred to me to look! Duh!!! Xx

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