Friday, August 12, 2005

Look skyward: Perseids peak tonight

We watched fireworks in the sky last night..

and it was the meteors from the Perseids..

One of the advantages of living out in the country and on a slight elevation is that the city lights are far away and under you, and so the night sky is as brilliant as can be...

David and I stepped outside for about 15 minutes last night and saw at least 7 or 8 BRILLIANT meteors during that time, which were brighter and lasted longer ( as well as being colorful ) than any shooting stars we had was indeed an amazing sight..

I woke up early this morning, about 5:30 am, and looked out my bedroom window, which had a view of the northeastern sky, and in 10 minutes, I saw 3 bright streaks in the sky...feeling fulfilled, I went back to bed again.

TONIGHT, we're going to set chairs out, for sure, and watch the sky light up once again...

The Perseids

The Perseids are debris from the Swift-Tuttle comet. Each year, during mid-August, the Earth in its orbit around the sun plows through the debris field and particles ram through the atmosphere at about 37 miles per second. As they incinerate, they produce spectacular "shooting stars."

Viewers could be able to see a meteor a minute, late tonight and early Friday as the Perseid meteor shower reaches its peak, said Bob Brown, member of the Southwest Washington Astronomical Society.

While the Perseids first became visible in late July and will last throughout August, Bown said the opportune viewing time is 11 tonight until 2 a.m. Friday, when spectators can see the highest concentration.

Discovered back in 1862, this comet takes approximately 130 years to circle the sun. And in much the same way that the Tempel-Tuttle comet leaves a trail of debris along its orbit to produce the Leonid Meteors of November, comet Swift-Tuttle produces a similar debris trail along its orbit to cause the Perseids.

As the meteor streaked across the night sky, different excited atoms emitted different colors of light. The origin of the green tinge visible at the right is currently unknown, however, and might result from oxygen in Earth's atmosphere

Watching for them is simple:

Find a spot shielded as much as possible from man-made light sources.
Lie down, with your feet pointed south and look straight up.
Most of the meteors should appear to originate over your left shoulder, in the northeastern sky.

Enjoy,'s not too late !


SooHK said...

Over here in Malaysia, we could not see it... sigh.... hope you enjoy the "show"...

Davkong said...

I read about this in the newspaper sometime ago, and I marked 12 August 2005 down in my journal, but I totally forgot about it! Anyway, I'm not sure whether we can see it over here in Malaysia or not, not to mention the haze condition now, so I think it's totally impossible.

*~*HollyMarie*~* said...

I love astrology! I don't agree with it as a religion but it's so gorgous!


Jaxon S said...

wow, a meteor shower!

Anonymous said...

We enjoyed the show here in Alabama too! Around 2:30am we went out side and saw about 8 meteors in about 10 minutes. The next night we were going to watch again...but we had rain. :-(


Monica said...

i wish I could see more here but there are to many lights! I need to go by the beach :)

Kate said...

That sounds so cool! Enjoy the show!