||Perseid Meteor Shower|
|Date / Time:
||Peak: August 12-13, 2010|
||The Perseid Meteor Shower could be FANTASTIC this year, certainly the highlight of the summer meteor season. A thin crescent Moon will set in early evening, leaving a dark sky for a potentially spectacular show! From a dark, clear viewing location, observers should see an average of at least 60 meteors ("shooting stars") per hour & perhaps up to 100 per hour! This year's shower should peak on the night of August 12th and the morning of the 13th. (About half as many meteors will show up a night before & after). The best time to view the Perseids is after midnight Friday morning, Aug. 13th, and especially the 2 or 3 hours before dawn.
The Perseids typically produce lots of bright meteors, many leaving luminous trails visible for several seconds. These are FAST meteors, with a velocity of about 37 miles/sec or 133,000 miles/hour!
The meteors appear to "radiate" from the constellation Perseus, "The Hero." Activity increases during the early morning hours when Perseus is high in the northeast & the Earth turns sky-watchers into the oncoming stream of comet debris.
You do not need a telescope or binoculars to view this or any other meteor shower. Just get yourself to the darkest location you can find, relax in a comfortable recliner chair, perhaps with a blanket & hot beverage, & enjoy the show!
Meteor showers occur when the Earth passes through the path of a comet. The bits of debris left behind by the comets, most no larger than a grain of sand, create a spectacular light show as they enter (& burn up in) Earth's atmosphere. The Perseids' parent comet is 109/Swift-Tuttle, which last visited our part of the Solar System in 1992. The comet has an orbital period (returns to orbit our Sun) approx. every 130 years.
Maintained by Roz Reiner - Kauai, Hawaii
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