We are told that there could be a fine display in the eastern sky over Audlem
for the next few nights – a meteorite "shower" visible after midnight – if we
get a clear night. Rumours that this has been put on specially by ASET, the
Audlem Special Events Team, as a possible event to replace the Proms in the
Park, have been denied.
Nor, to the possible disappointment of sports fans, has the display anything to do
with the fireworks that will inevitably feature at the opening of the
Olympics in Beijing, a little further to the East.
The spectacular display of shooting stars that could be visible across
British skies is, in fact, a 'Perseid' meteor shower. This occurs roughly
around this time each year as the Earth passes through a trail of debris left
in the wake of Comet Swift-Tuttle as it blasts its way through space shedding
clouds of dust.
Most of the meteors are no bigger than a grain of sand, but as they shoot
through the Earth's upper atmosphere at great speed they burn up in a bright
light leaving a glowing streak in their wake. Occasionally, they ignite into
a bright fireball as larger meteors shoot through.
Sounds like quite a
spectacle if the sky is clear.
We should perhaps add that you watch the display at your own risk – remember
The Day of the Triffids!
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