Latest: Not opening due to cloud. Saturday 12th also unlikely.
The premier meteor shower of the year, usually more meteors are seen, and over a wider period of time, than other showers.
When the planet Earth, in its orbit around the Sun, crosses the path of the comet Swift-Tuttle, the trailing debris left behind, mostly tiny sand-grain sized particles, enter the Earth's atmosphere at high speed where with friction they vapourise at high temperatures, seen as high speed tracks in the night sky.
We will be opening our observatory at Kenley for this event (public welcome) from 9 pm on Friday 11th August - and into the small hours of Saturday - as shower peaks after midnight. It is suggested that visitors bring along such items as a dim torch, flask of hot drink, recliner chair and blanket, and binoculars are optional for general sweeping of the sky, though not required for seeing meteors.
As the premier meteor shower of the year we expect many to be seen. The Moon will be after Full and towards Last Quarter and so the sky will not be as dark as it can be, but this will have no impact on the brighter ones. In addition it's likely one of more telescopes will be in use for general viewing as well during the night.
Perseids Meteor Shower - Fri 11th - Sat 12th August 2017
Single meteor taken from Kenley, facing north towards London. 1:08 am, 14th Dec 2009.
Please see this page for information about visiting, especially on facilities and parking.
More information about this astronomical event can be found here: Wikipedia and other sources via a relevant Internet search.
In addition to looking up at the sky and seeing these meteors we'll be using Radio Astronomy equipment to detect them, where inside the clubhouse a computer will show a display of their effect on radio waves, complete with sound. An advantage of this method is that it works regardless of clouds.
Weather on the night: too soon to say at this time, it’ll be best to use your favourite forecaster to check closer to the time.