AMAZING THINGS: Perseid Meteor Shower

Over the past couple of nights, if you’ve been outside after moon set, you might have noticed a few more shooting starts than usual.  (Or perhaps you noticed some when you normally don’t see any – such is the effect of both natural and human light pollution.)

That’s because we’re in the run-up to the peak of the Perseid meteor shower, a regular August event as the Earth passes through the debris trail left (probably) by comet Swift-Tuttle.

1280px-The_2010_Perseids_over_the_VLT

It’s an awesome view if you happen to be able to watch after the moon has set.  (I once got to watch a night shuttle launch (STS-128) while the Perseids were raging: one meteor split in two as we watched, leaving a green trail that bracketed the shuttle.  Sure wish I had a picture of that!)

Get up a little early or stay up a little late and treat yourself to a celestial treat.

For viewing information and times, visit timeanddate.com

perseid-map

 

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