The Perseids are a meteor shower that have been observed for around 2000 years. They happen when Earth passes through a cloud of dust left behind Comet Swift-Tuttle. The stream of debris is called the Perseid cloud. The name comes from the Greek word Perseidai; the sons Perseus in Greek mythology.

Meteors, also known as shooting stars, are streaks of light in the sky caused by particles falling into our atmosphere and burning up as Earth passes through the debris. During The Perseids peak, there can be up to 60 meteors seen an hour.

The shower is visible to the naked eye from mid-July every year and peaks from early to mid-August. In 2023, the key time to witness this mesmerising event is August 12th and 13th, from Friday night until Saturday morning.

The shower is often best before dawn - if you can stay awake that long! And keep your fingers crossed for a clear night as poor weather conditions can make them difficult to see.

For the best view, travel to an area with low light pollution. However, you should be able to view The Perseids wherever you are in Ireland. Just go outside and look up! Make a game of it by keeping count of how many meteors you see and comparing numbers with your family.

Ireland has been described as “a world leader in star-gazing” *. We have two internationally recognised Dark Sky areas, one in Mayo and one in Kerry, which are perfect for observing the wonders above us.

David Moore, Head of Astronomy Ireland

David Moore is chair of Astronomy Ireland and editor of Astronomy Ireland magazine. He has been a passionate astronomer for over thirty years. He launched the magazine in 1997 and opened Ireland’s first astronomy shop. He has met and interviewed many stars of the cosmic world such as Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Commander Chris Hadfield, Professor Brian Cox and Stephen Hawking to name a few!

'The Perseids' Explained by David Moore

Experience 'The Perseids' in a Škoda

There’s no better way to enjoy this spectacular starry show than from the comfort of a Škoda. Build your own stargaze-ready Škoda using our Car Configurator, or see what's in stock at your local dealer using our Stock Car Locator.