The annual meteor shower will fill the night sky with glowing streaks this weekend, as the Earth travels through debris shed by comet Swift-Tuttle
From piquing the interest of astronomers to fuelling the musings of poets, meteor showers have left a trail of inspiration in their wake since humanity first peered up into the sky.
Now inspiration is set to strike once more. This weekend the night sky will be filled with glowing streaks as the annual Perseid meteor shower reaches its peak, with the best views in the northern hemisphere.
People have looked up and noticed these showers and wondered about what they meant for thousands of years, said Chris Lintott, professor of astrophysics at the University of Oxford and co-presenter of The Sky at Night.
The Perseid shower takes its name from the point in the sky from which the meteors appear to hail: the constellation of Perseus. Named after the mythical Greek hero who defeated the gorgon Medusa by cutting off her snake-covered head, the constellation can be seen in the northern sky.
But, as Lintott points out, you dont need to be au fait with star charts to enjoy the show. [It] doesnt mean you should look towards Perseus, he said. You see more of the meteors when you are side on, so [look] east or west, and youll see them streaking past you.
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