Topper's Blog: Perseid Meteor Shower

9:07 PM, Aug 9, 2013   |    comments
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Perseid Meteor Showers

The peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower is tonight and tomorrow night the 12th. The Perseid Meteor Shower is so named because all of the meteors appear to originate from the constellation Perseus. A few other meteor showers are occurring during this time of the year, but perseids travel a lot faster and more frequently than those from other showers. To determine whether the meteor you are seeing is a perseid, trace the tail through the sky and if it points to the constellation Persius, you are indeed seeing a perseid meteor. Look northeast and the meteor should have tracked in the closest half of the sky to your field of view. Although this shower has been active since late July, during its' peak, it can produce 50-80 perseids per hour. The best time to watch will be after midnight, specifically during the hours before dawn tonight and Monday night. The moon sets early in the evening and will be out of the way during the greatest activity. Planetary alignment will also make this night particularly spectacular, with most areas able to view Mars and Saturn by the naked eye as well. To see the most meteors, try to get away from the city and ambient light, the number of sightings greatly increases if your sky is not polluted by light.  The last night to catch a glimpse of this meteor shower is August 20. In order to save your neck from straining, lay a towel down and lie on your back. You do not need binoculars or a telescope. This is a great chance to take a long weekend, get away from the city and go camping with your family.

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