UCL News


UCL In the News: Meteor showers provide breathtaking sight, but British clouds ruin the view

13 August 2007

An astonishing natural firework display left thousands throughout southern and Mediterranean Europe enthralled last night, but sky-watchers in Britain were largely frustrated on a cloud-covered evening.

Spectacular views could be seen all over Europe, particularly to the south of the continent where skies were clearer.

Dr Francisco Diego [UCL Physics & Astronomy] watched from the Canary Islands, where he is spending three nights on the island of La Palma, viewing the meteors from the rim of an extinct volcano, the site of one of the world's most important observatories.

"It was an absolutely fantastic night last night," he said. "Shooting stars went on for about three hours - it was a really superb sight." …

The best places to see the showers in Britain are the National Forest and New Forest, where outside light interference is at its smallest, Dr Diego says.

"From those areas, the artificial light interference is so small that you can actually see the milky way, and the view of the stars is often breathtaking," he added.

Times Online