When is the next meteor shower in the UK? © Getty Images

When is the next meteor shower in the UK?

Published: 25th July, 2022 at 13:00
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Your guide to when you can see shooting stars in the UK, including how many you can expect to spot.

If you're interested in getting into astronomy, watching a meteor shower is a great way to get started. They're predictable and easy to see, and you don't need any expensive equipment. In fact, you're better off without a telescope, just a lawn chair, a blanket and a flask of a hot drink.

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Read on to find out when you can see each meteor shower in 2022, when the peaks are and how many meteors you can expect to see. Don't worry if there aren't any showers any time soon – you can also check out our full Moon calendar and astronomy for beginners guide.

What is a meteor shower?

A meteor shower is a stream of shooting stars that appears to come from one particular area of the sky.

As comets travel around the Sun, they leave a trail of debris behind. When these fragments, most of which are smaller than a grain of sand, enter the Earth's atmosphere, we call them meteors.

Meteors travel at incredibly high speeds and almost all of them completely disintegrate on their journey through the atmosphere. What we see is the flash of light they give off as they disintegrate.

A meteor shower is named for the area of the sky where the meteors appear to originate. For example, the Lyrids seem to come from the constellation of Lyra, and the Leonids from Leo.

Read more about meteors:

When is the next meteor shower in the UK?

The next meteor showers to grace the skies of the UK are the Delta Aquariids and the Alpha Capricornids. The showers are both expected to peak on 30 July. The Perseids is also expected to be visible between 17 July and 24 August, with the peak on 12-13 August.

The dates of when you can see each shower, plus the peak and the number you can expect to see per hour, are below.

Delta Aquariids

Visible: 12 July - 23 August

Peak: 30 July

Rate/hour: 25

Alpha Capricornids

Visible: 3 July - 15 August

Peak: 30 July

Rate/hour: 5

Perseids

Visible: 17 July - 24 August

Peak: 12-13 August

Rate/hour: 100

Draconids

Visible: 6-10 October

Peak: 8-9 October

Rate/hour: 10

Orionids

Visible: 2 October - 7 November

Peak: 21-22 October

Rate/hour: 25

Northern Taurids

Visible: 20 October - 10 December

Peak: 12-13 November

Rate/hour: 5

Leonids

Visible: 6-30 November

Peak: 17-18 November

Rate/hour: 10

Geminids

Visible: 4-20 December

Peak: 14-15 December

Rate/hour: 150

Ursids

Visible: 17-26 December

Peak: 22-23 December

Rate/hour: 10

Quadrantids

Visible: 28 December 2022 to 12 January 2023

Peak: 4 January

Rate/hour: 120

Lyrids

Visible: 14-30 April

Peak: 22-23 April

Rate/hour: 18

Eta Aquariids

Visible: 19 April - 28 May

Peak: 6 May

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Rate/hour: 50

Authors

Sara RigbyOnline staff writer, BBC Science Focus

Sara is the online staff writer at BBC Science Focus. She has an MPhys in mathematical physics and loves all things space, dinosaurs and dogs.

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