12 August 2012

Perseid meteor shower peaks 11/12/13 August 2012

Perseid meteor shower peaks 11/12/13 August 2012

  The Perseids have been observed for at least 2,000 years and are associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the sun once every 133 years. Each year in August, the Earth passes through a cloud of the comet's debris. These bits of ice and dust -- most over 1,000 years old -- burn up in the Earth's atmosphere to create one of the best meteor showers of the year. The Perseids can be seen all over the sky, but the best viewing opportunities will be across the northern hemisphere. Those with sharp eyes will see that the meteors radiate from the direction of the constellation Perseus.

  "Regardless of your time zone, the Perseids should become visible about 10 p.m. local time, with rates increasing till dawn. The best times to view will be from midnight until dawn, your local time, with peak rates between 3-5 a.m. Observers with clear dark skies can expect rates of one per minute or thereabouts. Standard meteor viewing applies. Lie on your back (blanket, sleeping bag, lawn chair) and look straight up. Don't use binoculars or telescopes -- they have too small a field of view -- and don't look towards the radiant in Perseus, as the meteors in the direction will have short trains and be less spectacular. Avoid looking at the waning crescent moon if possible."
- Bill Cooke, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

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LunarMeteorite*Hunter-Dirk Ross - Tokyo, Japan

2012 THE Year of Meteors!