This week has seen an incredible phenomenon across the skies as meteor showers have been hitting the news. Here at Fireworks Den, we are loving these meteor showers since they are just like natural fireworks lighting up the night sky. A meteor shower is a celestial event in which a number of meteors are observed to radiate, or originate, from one point in the night sky. These meteors are caused by streams of cosmic debris called meteroids entering the earth’s atmosphere at extremely high speeds on parallel trajectories. Most meteors are smaller than a grain of sand, so almost all of them disintegrate and never hit the Earth’s surface. Intense or unusual meteor showers are known as meteor outbursts and meteor storms, which may produce more than 1,000 meteors per hour. To read more about the science behind meteor showers, please click here.
This latest bout of meteor showers has been visible for a number of days now, and will continue until the end of the week. This is actually an annual event known as the Perseids meteor shower which peaks each year in mid-August. Although the number of visible meteors is hard to predict accurately, you can expect to see one at least every few minutes. They mostly appear as fleeting streaks of light lasting less than a second, much like shooting stars. The brightest meteors in these meteor showers leave behind trails of vaporised gases and glowing air molecules that take a few seconds to fade.
The great thing about these meteor showers is that they can be seen with the naked eye. There is no need to use specialist astronomical equipment to view the sky. The best places to view these natural fireworks are in the most rural of areas. Skywatchers are in fact advised to lie on a blanket or reclining chair to get the best view, away from bright lights and street lamps. And with the sky lighting up with these meteor showers, budding photographers have battled to capture the perfect picture.
If you have taken any great snaps, please send them to us at Fireworks Den. We would love to see your pictures. If you haven’t been lucky enough to spot any of the meteors yourself this week, then you can always come to Fireworks Den to buy some man-made fireworks! They might not be as high in the sky as nature’s own fireworks, but you certainly won’t miss them, and they will last a little longer! For more information, please feel free to contact us and we can help you.