Sunday, August 9, 2009

Meteors !

Standby for the greatest show on Earth!

Debris from the tail of the Swift-Tuttle comet is about to brush our night sky and the results should be spectacular. The best time to look should be this Tuesday night into Wednesday morning (August 11th and 12th) after midnight and just before moonrise.

Face the northeast sky and look for the constellation Cassiopeia. It looks like a wide-open W. The radiant center of the meteor shower should be just a bit lower in the sky, just above the constellation Perseus (resembling a stick-figure man without arms.)

The show has already started! About a week ago, just before dawn, I witnessed a stunning meteor illuminate the sky while riding in my car. All I could say was “Wow!” Anytime this week you’re likely to see amazing displays fly through your evening sky!

The later you stay up Tuesday night, the better the show should be! The Perseid shower is known for long, bright and streaky meteor bursts just like a natural Fourth of July celebration. Hunt for a good dark place away from ground light and city centers. Set up your lawn chair and bring some snacks! (Don’t forget the bug spray!) You should enjoy the best all-nighter of your life!

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