| 26°C Dublin

Shooting stars and gigantic moon to light up Irish skies

STARGAZERS are in for a rare treat with a double show of shooting stars and a supermoon in Irish skies this weekend.

The Perseids meteor shower, visible from mid-July through August, is one of the astronomical events of the year.

The shower is caused by falling debris from the Swift-Tuttle comet and each year as fragments of the comet crash into the Earth's atmosphere they burn up, creating shooting stars.

PHENOMENON

Although there could be about 20 times more shooting stars in the sky than normal, the show could be hampered by another celestial phenomenon - the supermoon.

A supermoon occurs when a full moon coincides with the point on the moon's orbit when it is closest to the Earth.

The phenomenon is due at 01.38am on Monday morning when the moon will appear 14pc larger in the sky and could reflect 30pc more light - both good and bad news for astronomers as the light will swamp out some of the fainter shooting stars.

And the skies may not be entirely clear of clouds either as the weekend looks set to be a washout.

Met Eireann issued a weather warning ahead of fears of heavy rainfall.

Coastal counties in Leinster are due for heavy and persistent rainfall over the weekend, with temperatures dropping to as low as 10C in some places.

But Dublin might just escape the worst of the elements today.

Met Eireann is predicting that it will stay mostly dry in the capital, but cautioned that afternoon showers could turn thundery. Temperatures should sty in the mid-teens, according to forecasts.

Met Eireann issued a yellow alert last night, cautioning people to take heed of the rain. Tomorrow is set to be warmer with temperatures rising to around 16C.

hnews@herald.ie


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