The Perseid meteor shower is a spectacle not to be missed as, if conditions are right, it’s a great opportunity to spot lots of bright meteors – 60 or more per hour!
In 2021, the Perseids are visible between 16 July – 23 August, but in 2021 the meteor shower reaches it peak on 11th/12th and 12th/13th August.
Here are some top tips for how to spot meteors:
☄️ Research the best time to spot the meteor shower – for the Perseids in 2021 in the UK, this is in the early hours of 12th and 13th August. The days leading up to these dates could also be good opportunities to see a good show. ☄️ Ideally, the sky should be dark. You’ll get a better view away from streetlights and when the Moon is not full. The Moon sets by 10pm in mid-August in the UK, so the sky will be darkest after that time. ☄️ Fill your view with the sky and wait! Lying on the ground is a great way to see as much as possible, or get comfy in a deckchair. ☄️ Give your eyes 15 minutes to get used to the dark ☄️ Check the weather forecast – a clear sky will give a better view. ☄️ Look low in the north-eastern sky to spot the Perseids, although they can appear anywhere in the sky.
The best time to spot the Lyrid meteor in the UK in 2021 is on the night of 21st – 22nd April. This year, it coincides with a gibbous Moon, which means that the night sky will be bright, which makes spotting meteors a little harder – but don’t be deterred! Follow these tips from the Royal Observatory in Greenwich for the best chance of meteor-spotting.
☄️Find a dark site with an unobstructed view of the sky. ☄️The best time to see the shower is in the early morning of the peak day, which this year is the morning of the 22 April (the night of the 21 April). ☄️Fill your view with the sky and wait! Lying on the ground is a great way to see as much as possible. ☄️Look towards the Vega constellation – here’s a handy map showing how to find it at this time of year thanks to Astronomy Now. ☄️Blanket optional but highly recommended. Reclining deckchairs make an even more comfortable way to view the sky. ☄️Remember to wrap up warm!
Primary school reading comprehension packs with question and answer sheets:
Jessica Watkins, NASA Astronaut
Read about fully trained astronaut Jessica Watkins who hopes to soon be able to fly to the Moon as part of the Artemis missions to the Moon! Includes the feature to print or to read on a tablet, as well as comprehension question and answer sheets. Ideal for Year 5 / P6.
Find out what it’s like to be an electrical engineering whizz with this inspirational interview with Nikita Hari. Includes the feature to print or to read on a tablet, as well as comprehension question and answer sheet. Ideal for Year 6 / P7
Read about sensational scientist Agnes Arber, whose career as a plant scientist started when she was just 13! Includes the feature to print or to read on a tablet, as well as comprehension question and answer sheets. Ideal for Year 3 / P4
Find out why Kate Biberdorf loves to blow things up to inspire her students! Includes the feature to print or to read on a tablet, as well as comprehension question and answer sheets. Ideal for Year 4 / P3
A Build Your Own Mars Colony is an out-of-this-world way to keep astronauts-in-training busy while staying safe at home! This space-age set contains everything an interplanetary explorer needs to make a 20-piece Martian scene. Best of all? We’ve got three to give away!
In Whizz Pop Bag 62: Zoom to the Moon, we asked readers to write a poem inspired by the Moon.
The fantastic entries were out of this world! It was so hard to pick just three winners, but we eventually settled on Amelie, aged 8, Isabella, aged 9 and Isa, aged 8. Keep scrolling to read their Moon poems.
Silver sparkles, a bright light the moon shimmers every night If only I could go and see I wonder what there would be?
I lay in bed in my dark room When all of a sudden, a loud sonic boom! I looked outside and couldn’t believe my eyes A rocket in my garden! What a surprise.
Off I went, zoom zoom zoom, Before I knew it, I was on the moon! Could this be real? I rubbed my eyes Chocolate-filled craters and mountains of pies
What more could there be, I started to think Some delicious moon nectar for me to drink I leaned in close, to fill up my mug When all of a sudden I felt a warm hug
Oh no I thought, who could it be? An alien or monster? I just couldn’t see! ‘Wake up sleepy-head’, I heard her say I guess I’ll have to finish my adventure some other day.
Who holds the moon? by Amelie aged 8
Neither closer nor further in the night sky The alluring moon hangs there so high Landscapes of craters, mountains and seas Luminous, it’s beauty bathes the trees
Have you wondered what force holds it there For all to see, to dream and stare Is it a wire, a rope or some string No, there must be some invisible thing
Magnetism, is that what it could be The reason the moon can’t break free I struggle and ponder to find the theory Although it takes time, it’s never dreary
I ponder and think, I jump up and come down This is beyond me I say with a frown Who knows not I, let’s wait and see Ahh, maybe it’s the force of gravity
A Day Trip to the Moon by Isabella, aged 9
Gakk, Riley and Emmi, decided to go to the moon! Y tried to warn them, that it could all end in doom! Riley told them all, they should build a rocket, Ready for this moment, he pulled a blueprint from his pocket, Emmi tried to think, what else they needed to bring? Gakk ran off and returned, with spades and a rubber ring! “What on earth is that for?” Y shouted with glee, Gakk smiled and said loudly “We are going to the sea!” Riley laughed and shouted “ There aren’t any seas on the moon!” “Yes there is!”, Gakk replied “you’ll see very soon!” Emmi say to Y “We are going to need a ride” Y says “Don’t worry, I have my moon buggy outside!” Everything was assembled, Emmi climbed onto the first stair, Y then shouted suddenly “Wait!, we can’t go anywhere” “We haven’t got any rocket fuel and no money to pay!” Emmi said “Never mind, we can go another day!”
The moon is dusty and far away. It can be seen at night and sometimes day. Wolves howl at the moon, Bats swoop past the moon. Moths navigate by the light of the moon. Astronauts have stood on the moon. Dropping a hammer, dropping a feather. Testing the gravity. Checking the weather. The moon is bright on a dark night, But it’s just reflecting the sun’s light. With all that said, I bet it’s true, We still don’t know all about the moon.
Team Moon by Layton, aged 6
Man has walked on the Moon, NASA is going back really soon, I wish I could be part of their team, Being an Astronaut is my dream.
I love to stargaze with my mum, When we have said goodnight to the Sun, The stars all twinkle really bright, But nothing is better than the Moon at night.
The Moon by Anna, aged 10
The moon is a silver coin tossed up high, Glinting always in the dark black sky. Will it land on heads or tails? Will the moon landings succeed or fail?
The moon is a diamond, clear and bright, Sparkling and shining all through the night. Always staying in that same place, In the deep black mines of mysterious space.
The moon is a guardian circling forever, It and the Earth have always been together. The moon watches over all that we see, It watches you and it watches me.
The moon is a shapeshifter, changing shape and size, Each night something different appears before our eyes. Changing shape like cards shuffling, King, Queen, Ace, Full, quarter, crescent, new, all the way up in space.
But whatever the moon is, it’s there every night, Silver and glowing, clear and bright. The moon is with us until the end, And that’s why I say that the moon is my friend.
The Rhyming Moon by Louis, aged 6
Bright white Night light In space I see a face Made of cheese, if you believe
Wolves howl a tune At the silvery moon. Hey! Would you like to play on the moon tonight?
The Moon by Elijah, aged 11
Somewhere up in the clouds above, Where no creature or human lies, When the sun goes down and darkness thrives, Look! It’s the moon! Standing bright and alive. Where the stars eyes gaze onwards, All those miles away, up in the great black skies, the moon is there, to guide our way. Always watching onwards, Always one step ahead, The moon sits, Just waiting, Waiting for the sun to go down, For it is then that the moon can stand, Bright and alive.
Moon Poem by Nicholas, aged 11
Moon, Moon glowing bright, you are the queen of the night. You shine from dusk till dawn, but are faint when we wake in the morn.
Moon, Moon glowing bright, you are the queen of the night.
Moon, Moon glowing bright, centrepiece of our night. Your cycles wax and wane, you’re greater than the sun with its fiery mane.
Moon, Moon glowing bright, centrepiece of our night.
Moon, Moon glowing bright, you take the troubles from our night. You shine within our darkest hour, and give us your glory and power.
Moon, Moon glowing bright, you take the troubles from our night.
Moon, Moon can you hear me? You save ships tossed at sea, you guide sailors who have lost their way and when they’re safe they say:
Moon, Moon who gives us light, our beaming saviour of this night.
Add a sprinkle of science to your child’s bookshelf this autumn with these three inspiring titles from Wren and Rook.
Launch yourself into the great unknown with Space Explorers by Libby Jackson. Marvel at 25 extraordinary true stories of humankind’s thrilling journey to the stars which have been brought to life by Léonard Dupon’s beautiful illustrations.
In An Engineer Like Me by Dr Shini Somara and illustrated by Nadja Sarell, Zara’s journey around the city sparks some serious curiosity: How do roller coasters do loop-the-loops? How do planes stay up? As she marvels about how they work, Zara learns about some of the brilliant engineers who have shaped the world around her. This inventive book is packed with engineering explanations and challenges get future scientists thinking.
A Climate in Chaosby Neal Laytontackles the huge issue of our warming planet by explaining what it is, what’s causing it and – most importantly – how we can all help to keep Planet Earth happy.
Want to win all three books for your family? We’ve got five bundles of three to give away to Whizz Pop Bang fans!
To be in with a chance of winning, simply answer this question in the comments:
Whizz Pop Bang is a top-quality, gender-neutral, advert-free science magazine for families everywhere. Each issue is packed with experiments, activities, amazing facts, puzzles, jokes, riddles and more. Find out more here!
Now that schools are closed, have you become a home educator overnight? Whizz Pop Bang is the world’s most awesomely amazing kids’ science magazine, bursting with hands-on experiments, facts and fun, and we want to help you and your children with the huge transition that many of us face.
Here are some FREE science activities and experiments to help you entertain, excite and educate your year 5 child! You’ll find out how to make a water wheel lifter, a balloon rocket, a model of our solar system, flying machines and paper planes, plus reading comprehensions about astronaut Tim Peake and sensational scientists The Wright Brothers!
Our experiments are designed for children from 6 to 12, but this list of experiments is particularly perfect for year 5, P6 (Scotland) and 9-year-olds and 10-year-olds as they tie in with the relevant National Curriculum objectives and topics.
The reading comprehensions included here were designed to be read at A3 size, so text may appear too small when printed at A4. They work really well on a tablet or monitor, or you may need to print them on two pages of A4 if your printer allows.
If you have any comments or questions about our free year 5 science experiments and reading comprehensions, please leave a comment for us. Or do you have any science homeschool ideas or general home educating ideas for 9- and 10-year-olds? We’d love to hear from you!
Interview with astronaut Tim Peake reading comprehension
This interview delves into what it is really like to travel in space. Tim Peake describes what it feels like to take off in a rocket and to feel weightless, as well as his scariest moments. A must-read for your aspiring astronauts.
This downloadable reading pack includes: – An interview with Tim Peake for you to print or for your child to read on a tablet. – Reading comprehension question sheet and answer sheet.
A biography text on the remarkable story of the team behind the world’s first powered flight. In December 1903 Wilbur piloted a plane with a petrol engine for 59 seconds and travelled 260 metres. The Wright brothers had unlocked the secret of mechanical flight!
This downloadable reading pack includes: – A feature about sensational scientists, The Wright Brothers, for you to print or for your child to read on a tablet. – Reading comprehension question sheet and answer sheet.