Best places in Shropshire to watch dramatic meteor shower this weekend

Stargazers across the county are preparing for the peak of "the best meteor shower of the year".

John Cooling from Cockshut captured a shooting star from the start of the showers earlier this week
John Cooling from Cockshut captured a shooting star from the start of the showers earlier this week

If you cast your gaze across the night sky this week, you'll be in with the chance of wishing upon a shooting star.

Dubbed by NASA as "one of the best meteor showers of the year", the Perseid meteor showers are active between July 17 and August 24, but are due to peak after sunset on Friday and Saturday, August 12 and 13.

The best time to see them is between midnight and 5.30am, but you're in for a good chance of catching them anytime after sunset.

Residents can look out for the shower wherever they are, but there are certain kinds of places that will increase the chances of spotting meteors.

Shropshire's hills are a fantastic location for stargazers to take in the starry skies above.

The top of the Wrekin, Carding Mill Valley, Cross Dyke car park at Boiling Well, Pole Cottage and Shooting Box car park all have the darkest 'Milky Way Class' rating - meaning that the night skies are dark enough to see the milky way with the naked eye.

NASA advises against the use of telescopes or binoculars, saying: "If it’s not cloudy, pick an observing spot away from bright lights, lay on your back, and look up!

"You don’t need any special equipment to view the Perseids – just your eyes. Meteors can generally be seen all over the sky so don’t worry about looking in any particular direction.

"Remember to let your eyes become adjusted to the dark (it takes about 30 minutes) – you’ll see more meteors that way.

"Try to stay off of your phone too, as looking at devices with bright screens will negatively affect your night vision and hence reduce the number of meteors you see."

If the skies stay clear as forecast, those staying up late can expect to see between 50 and 100 meteors an hour.

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