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Perseid meteor shower set to dazzle disappoint

Annual triumph of hope over experience

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The annual Perseid meteor lightshow will peak sometime tomorrow as Earth passes through the debris trail of comet Swift-Tuttle, but we're not taking any chances this year and are predicting total disappointment for those of you hoping to catch an eyeful.

According to the BBC, the best times (not) to see the Perseids in the UK are "likely to be on the morning of 12 August before dawn and from late evening on the 12th through to the early hours of the 13 August".

Bill Cooke of NASA's meteoroid environment office offered the usual optimistic outlook and suggested that at their peak, the Perseids might offer "dozens of meteors per hour".

However, the BBC wisely cautions that light from the last quarter Moon will "interfere significantly with the view".

Nonetheless, the Vulture Central stargazers will as usual be cracking a beer in a dark spot somewhere on planet Earth in the vain hope we might get the long-awaited "one to tell your grandkids" meteor shower. Fingers crossed. ®

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