Look up! The Perseid Meteor Shower peaks August 12


Perseids are pieces of debris from the tail of Comet Swift-Tuttle, which takes 133 years to orbit the sun once.

The Irish skies are set to illuminate this weekend as the annual Perseid meteor shower is in full blaze.

Fueled by false internet memes and sites such as Physics Astronomy (headlines include "Quantum Consciousness: The Universe May Be One Entity And Aware Of Itself" and "This One Gif Is Better Than Anything Else You'll See Today"), the Perseid peak this year is being wrongly billed as "the brightest shower in recorded human history".

There's a chance to catch a glimpse of the meteor shower at any time during this period, but the extravaganza is at its peak around August 11, 12 and 13.

"To be honest, it's not a good year" for the Perseids, said Robert Massey, acting executive director of the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) in London. This is where the radiant is, or the point in the sky where the meteors will appear to originate from. Known as the "shower radiant", this is where they are expected to burst. This happens every year on a very predictable schedule, beginning about July 17 until around September 1, with the peak in August, according to Sky & Telescope. Night owls are welcome for this one, as it may be a long night.

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Got that sleeping bag ready?

You need to allow your eyes time to adjust to the dark to allow you to see fainter objects, including meteors, so spend about 30 minutes outside before you start.

City-dwelling stargazers are encouraged to find a spot in a wide open area, away from the lights, to best experience the event.

If you wear a baseball cap sideways, you'll also cover any glare from the moon.