Posts Tagged ‘August’

The Perseid Meteor Shower, August 12 & 13, 2010

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

The Perseid Meteor Shower is considered one of the best known meteor showers (especially to amateurs) because of the peak rate of anywhere from 50-80 meteors an hour. The shower in 2010 will be especially good because the moon will be just after new, which means its light shouldn’t interfere with viewing the shower. The shower should be visible from mid-July (for the high northern longitudes), but the most activity should be the mornings of August 12 and 13 (though the activity will sharply decline after the peak mornings).

The shower can be seen just fine with the naked eye, especially without the moon’s interference this year. The shower radiates from the constellation Perseus, but you should be able to spot the shower even if you’re not sure where in the sky that is. In order to see it clearly, if you live near a brightly-lit area, drive northeast to a darker area (if you drive south, the light pollution may affect the sky where you’re trying to see the shower). If you can see all of the stars of the Little Dipper, it should be dark enough to see the shower.

The best way to view the shower is if you setup as if you’re watching a fireworks show: bring a reclining chair or blanket so you can lay back to watch the sky. That way you don’t have to strain your neck to watch the shower. On August 12 and 13, you should be able to see the shower from around midnight until the sun rises and, in optimal conditions, you’ll see about 1 comet a minute. Even in less-than-perfect conditions, though, you should see around 25 meteors an hour.

August 12 & 13, 2010 Perseid Meteor Shower at midnight
This is the relative position of the center of the Perseid Meteor Shower at midnight of August 13 and 13. the constellation Perseius is rising in the north east. While Meteor may appear in any portion of the sky, most Perseid Meteors will appear to radiate from this point near the constellation Perseius.

Please Note: The above article is made possible by the research and writing of JJ Stamm - Thank you JJ


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