Shooting stars set to light up night sky

Shooting stars set to light up night sky
Photo: DPA
Hundreds of shooting stars will light up the night sky this week as the Perseid meteor shower makes its annual appearance.

The best night to see the shooting stars will be Wednesday, although Tuesday and Thursday will also be worth a look skywards after dark, according to astronomy professor Hans-Ulrich Keller from Stuttgart.

He says the best time to stare at the skies is between 10pm and 4am, when there will be up to 100 shooting stars an hour.

The Perseid meteor shower, considered the richest of the year, consists of tiny pieces of the Swift-Tuttle comet left behind during its 130-year-solar orbit.

These pieces of space dust – some as large as peas but most just a few millimetres across – burn up as they hit Earth’s atmosphere, creating the shooting stars.

The stars, also known as The Tears of Saint Lawrence after an early Christian martyred by the Romans whose feast day falls on August 10, can be seen from all over the world.

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