Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Observing the Perseids

So, it looks like I was catching the start of the perseids when I saw the shooting star a few weeks ago. I saw it on the night of July 24th, 5 days after the IUI, and according to the article I copied part of below, the shower starts producing meteors on July 23rd. I just wanted to put something else up as a reminder to those who may want to try and view the shower. I am hoping to figure out someplace dark enough to drive too and observe. It is supposed to peak Sunday night which could lead to a groggy Monday, but it's only one day. The early AM of Sunday morning is supposed to be good also. Hopefully I will get a good picture or two as well. For northern hemisphere observers, the radiant will be to the northeast.

This is the most famous of all meteor showers. It never fails to provide an impressive display and, due to its summertime appearance, it tends to provide the majority of meteors seen by non-astronomy enthusiasts.

This meteor shower gets the name "Perseids" because it appears to radiate from the constellation Perseus. An observer in the Northern Hemisphere can start seeing Perseid meteors as early as July 23, when one meteor every hour or so could be visible. During the next three weeks, there is a slow build-up. It is possible to spot five Perseids per hour at the beginning of August and perhaps 15 per hour by August 10. The Perseids rapidly increase to a peak of 50-80 meteors per hour by the night of August 12/13 and then rapidly decline to about 10 per hour by August 15. The last night meteors are likely to be seen from this meteor shower is August 22, when an observer might see a Perseid every hour or so.

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