Wednesday, August 11, 2004

The Perseid Meteor Shower

It's mid August again and that means the Perseid meteor shower is occurring. The Perseids occur at this time every year as the earth passes throught the ice and dust left behind from the comet Swift-Tuttle. The comet takes about 134 years to orbit the sun, last passing by Earth in 1992. It will be back around in 2126 so mark your calendars. As our green and life filled planet makes its way around the sun the ice particles hit our atmosphere causing streaks of light in the sky. The Perseids got there name from the constellation where they seem to emanate from, Perseus. It is very difficult to forecast these storms, but most astronomers are estimating a good show, in part this is due to the extremely small crescent moon tonight. Less moon light makes it easier to spot the meteors. It will be nearing its peak this afternoon and unfortunately in North America we will miss the peak. However meteors can will still be visible tonight, assuming it isn't cloudy. So tonight on your way home look into the Eastern portion of the sky

Some Informative Links
Perseids 2001 Meteor Gallery
A Perseid Guide from
A NASA Document on the 2004 Meteor Shower
More Meter Shower Information

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