Monday, August 9, 2010

Perseid Meteor Shower - this week!

The Perseids is the name of a prolific meteor shower associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle. The Perseids are so-called because the point they appear to come from, called the radiant, lies in the constellation Perseus. The stream of debris is called the Perseid cloud and stretches along the orbit of the comet Swift-Tuttle. The cloud consists of particles ejected by the comet as it travels on its 130-year orbit.The shower is visible from mid-July each year, with the peak in activity being between August 9 and 14, depending on the particular location of the stream. The meteors can be seen all across the sky, but because of the path of Swift-Tuttle's orbit, Perseids are primarily visible in the northern hemisphere.

The peak of the shower will be on the night of August 12 and into the morning and there will be no moon this year which means the meteor display will be more visible than usual. For optimum viewing, face the northeast sky.  You will also be able to see the meteor shower on the 11th and 13th but you will then see less meteors per hour.   (from Wikipedia)

Unless we have a bright moon, we have a spectacular display at Lake Tahoe during this meteor shower.  It is pretty chilly here at night so I always wrap up in a sleeping bag on the deck and keep warm with a mug of hot chocolate and a cupcake!   Here's to the stars....

No comments: