Where you can see the Perseid meteor shower in Hertfordshire

Shooting stars over some trees in the dark.

The Perseid meteor shower occurs every year in mid-August. - Credit: Michał Mancewicz on Unsplash

One of the largest meteor showers in the calendar is set to reach its peak over the next few days, when 50 to 100 "shooting stars" are set to soar over the UK every hour.

The Perseid meteor shower takes place every year in mid-August and showcases "swift and bright" meteors, according to NASA. 

The cosmic rocks leave "wakes of light and colour" as they travel across the night sky, and "fireballs" delight stargazers - larger explosions which last longer than the average meteor streak.

The shower occurs when the Earth passes through dust and debris left by the Tuttle comet.

Meteorologists at the UK's Met Office forecast that the shower will be most active between midnight and 5.30am, starting today (Thursday, August 11) and ending on Saturday, August 13.

With light pollution blighting the night sky in large Hertfordshire towns and cities such as Stevenage, Hatfield and St Albans, rural areas are often best for a clear view of the event.

According to Go Stargazing, the best place to see the Perseid meteors near Stevenage is in the nearby areas of Old Knebworth, St Paul's Walden and Benington, where light pollution is lower. 

For those willing to travel a little further, the area near Buckland, Anstey and Brent Pelham suffers from even less light pollution present.

Go Stargazing's light pollution map shows clearer skies in north-east Hertfordshire, near Royston and Bishop's Stortford

Go Stargazing's light pollution map shows clearer skies in north-east Hertfordshire, near Royston and Bishop's Stortford - Credit: Go Stargazing

The same logic applies for St Albans, Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield, with locations such as Sandridge, Childwickbury and Normansland expecting clear, dark skies.

The Royal Museums Greenwich has advice on how where best to see the meteor shower: https://bit.ly/3pbprAL

This includes turning your back to street lights, giving your eyes at least 15 minutes to adjust to the dark (without using a mobile phone), and finding an area with few trees or buildings to obscure your view.

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Using telescopes and binoculars is not advised, as these limit the area of the sky that you are able to view at any time, and you could miss part of the show.