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Met Office: Meteor shower, shooting stars and supermoon to light up Burton skies in August

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 03, 2014

By Steve Ashby

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STARGAZERS across Burton and South Derbyshire could be treated to the sight of their lives as a meteor shower lights up the night sky.

The shower of shooting stars, called the Perseids, happens once a year and is caused when the Earth passes through tail debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle, which appeared in our skies 22 years ago.

This year's meteor shower is predicted to produce more than 100 shooting stars an hour. The event is so named because, to observers, the meteors appear to emanate from the direction of the constellation Perseus.

A spokesperson for the Met Office urged people to wrap up warm and watch the event which will be visible in our night skies between August 10 and 13. It will peak on August 12 in the early hours of the morning.

He said: "To see the meteor shower, you don't need a telescope, binoculars or any other equipment. All you will need is your own eyes.

"You don't need to look in any particular direction as meteors appear randomly anywhere in the sky."

To top off the event, the shower coincide with a "supermoon" which also appears once a year when the moon is closer to the Earth than usual, making it appear brighter and larger.

A spokesman for Nasa said: "The biggest and brightest full moon of the year will face off against everyone's favourite meteor shower and the outcome could be beautiful."

Being able to see any of the spectacular events of course, relies on the sky being clear on the night. The weather for next week is predicted to be mixed, with showers one day and blue skies the next.

The Met Office spokesman said: "My advice would be to get to a safe area where there is little to no street lighting and on a hill to be higher up. Hopefully, there won't be any cloud coverage on the night."

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