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Did you see the Perseid meteor shower over Suffolk and Essex last night?

PUBLISHED: 09:06 13 August 2017 | UPDATED: 09:06 13 August 2017

A meteor  picture above Pin Mill in Suffolk. Picture: ANTHONY CULLEN/PHOTOGRAPHICDAY.COM

A meteor picture above Pin Mill in Suffolk. Picture: ANTHONY CULLEN/PHOTOGRAPHICDAY.COM

Archant

Suffolk stargazers were treated to one of the highlights of the astronomical calendar last night when the Perseid meteor shower reached its peak.

The display occurs every July and August as the earth passes debris from the Swift-Tuttle comet, causing some of the brightest shooting stars to streak the night sky.

In Suffolk, photographer Anthony Cullen captured one of the shooting stars above Pin Mill.

Social media users across the country also shared pictures of the displays, with some reportedly seeing as many as 100 in an hour.

Robin Scagell, vice president of the Society for Popular Astronomy, said last night: “The Perseids can be very bright and often quite spectacular. Some meteor showers are slow, but we are moving into the Perseid stream so they are coming at us quite swiftly.

“I think under good conditions you might see one or two a minute, probably more towards Sunday morning rather than Saturday.

“You could see none at all for a few minutes and then two or three. You might be lucky or unlucky; that’s the way with meteors.”

The Perseids were the first meteor shower to be linked to a comet when astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli spotted their association with Swift-Tuttle in 1862.

The comet orbits the sun every 135 years. As the Earth crosses its orbit, it ploughs through some of the debris left by the icy object on previous visits. None of the particles are big enough to avoid destruction and reach the ground.

Did you take any pictures of the meteor shower? Email our newsroom to share pictures.

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