The Perseids are coming... but so's the Moon

The Perseids are coming... but so's the Moon

The Perseids are coming... but so's the Moon

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
Aug. 8 2011 12:00 PM

The Perseids are coming... but so's the Moon

Every year around August 12/13th, the Perseid meteor shower peaks. It's a fairly reliable shower that generates 60 or more meteors per hour. Unfortunately, this year the Moon is full at that time, washing out the sky and any fainter shooting stars.

Still, it may be worth a shot for you. Meteor Showers Online has some info on the event, and I wrote a post a while back on how to watch meteor showers that still works.

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

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Last year, photographer Siddhartha Saha shot a nice time lapse video of the Perseids:

At 10 seconds in, one of the meteors leaves what's called a persistent train; a streak of vaporized material that sits in the upper atmosphere and glows. You can see the winds whipping it into a twisted shape. I've never seen this happen myself, but one day...

If you miss the Perseids, don't fret: there are plenty of others this year. The Leonids and Geminids are also good performers. And any dark night will generally have a few to spot, just random pieces of fluff that hit us all the time. It adds up to about 100 tons of material a day burning up in our atmosphere, so why not go outside and see if you can spot any?

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<>em>Tip o' the Whipple Shield to BABloggee Anu R for the link to the video.