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Friday 15 December 2017

Stargazers treated to more fireworks

Allison Bray

STARGAZERS can expect more celestial fireworks over our skies this weekend as the Perseid meteor showers continue until early next week.

While the annual meteor showers reached their peak on Thursday night, Astronomy Ireland said the spectacular display of shooting stars and fireballs will still be visible over the next few days.

The meteors cannot be seen by telescope but are clearly visible to the naked eye, said Astronomy Ireland chairman David Moore.

"We saw about 80 in about an hour and a half," he said of viewing the activity in the early hours of Friday morning off Howth Head in Co Dublin.

Mike Foylan, a long-time Astronomy Ireland member, successfully photographed the meteor shower using special equipment that detects meteors as they blaze across the sky.

The Perseid display is visible any time from dusk to dawn as long as there is no cloud cover. However, viewers hoping to catch a glimpse are advised to venture as far away from any sources of light or glare, such as overlooking the sea.

People can witness the meteors from their gardens, but are advised to turn off any sources of light and allow at least five minutes for their eyes to adjust to the night sky.

Irish Independent

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