The Perseid meteor shower actually began back on July 13th but it is at it’s peak this week, specifically Wednesday night. A meteor shower occurs when the Earth travels through the debris trail of a comet, The comet associated with the Perseids is Comet Swift-Tuttle.
(Click images to enlarge)
WHERE DO I LOOK?
The “radiant”, or where the meteors originate, is the constellation Perseus, in the northeast sky. If you are a photographer, often the best shots can be gotten by setting up your shots just left or right of the radiant. Although the radiant is in the northeast sky, you can see meteors anywhere in the sky.
Perseus rises around midnight and gets higher in the sky throughout the night so, the later the better…say 3-5:30am. I know, those are not the best hours to be awake and functioning!
WHY THIS ONE IS GREAT
This is one of the two best showers of any year (the other is in December) and this year’s Perseids are even better because the Moon is almost new so the sky is especially dark. In the darkest spots in the countryside you may see as many as 100 per hour.
KNOWLEDGE YOU CAN USE TO IMPRESS YOUR FRIENDS AND MEET GUYS/GIRLS AT PARTIES:
The difference between meteors, meteorite and meteoroids:
Meteor: The actual flash of light you see as the debris burning up as it descends through the Earth’s atmosphere.
Meteoroid: The debris itself, which can be as small as a grain of salt or as large as a boulder.
Meteorite: Any part of the meteoroid that survives the inferno of the trip through the atmosphere and lands on the planet’s surface.
A nice video from NASA:
Thanks for reading,