Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Perseid Meteor Shower

Sometime after midnight tomorrow night the Perseid or Perseus meteor shower as you may know it, Will reach it's peak raining down as many as a few dozen meteors an hour. As you may already know, meteor showers occur when the earth passes through the paths of comets orbiting the sun which leave trails of ice, dust, and debris in their wake. This dust and ice, most of which is smaller than a grain of sand, heats up as it enters the Earth's atmosphere creating streaks of light commonly referred to as shooting stars.

Named for the region of the sky from which they appear to emanate, Thursday's meteor shower can be viewed in the Northeast region of the night sky around the Perseus constellation which is located between Cassiopeia and Taurus.

If you happen to be a fellow iPhone user, you can download one of my favorite Apps "Planets" from Q Continuum to aid in your search for the constellation. Planets gives you both a 2d and 3d view of the night sky with clearly marked planets and constellations as well as a list of times when planets are visible and animated 3d globes of all the planets and best of all, it's free.

So if you have the ability to stat up late Thursday night then find yourself a safe place to go outside of the glow from the lights of your city and look towards Perseus to enjoy the show.

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