I wanted to make sure I posted a reminder about the Perseid meteor shower set to peak on the night of 11 to 12 August. The could be a great shower! Well yes, the Perseids are always good, I’m talking GREAT in terms of meteor rate which could approach 200 per hour! Once seen, a shower like this will not be soon forgotten and it would be super to get the kids out. It would make a great project for an organized outing, like for example a Boy Scout or Science Club camp out – brought up because organizing such an event is on my bucket list of things to do. Anyway –
In 2009 there was a similar display and it was nothing short of spectacular. A good portion of my viewing that night was spent in the back seat of a hatchback car riding home from a class. It was an amazing show and I created two other avid meteor shower observers just by telling to “look up”. The image shown here was from that very 2009 shower (Credits: NASA/JPL)
This year the moon could put a damper on things at least a little bit. While the moon will be something like 62 percent illuminated it will be towards the south and on the way to setting by the time it is dark enough.
EARLY morning Friday is my plan. Showers radiating from a very favorable direction (about north) and the moon setting or set, I will be in my new patio recliner (dragged to the back lawn). ERT or Expected Recliner Time should be about 03:30 local – sorry I couldn’t resist I am really pretty excited to try the new observing set up out. I’d like to think I might get a nice image like the one above and the potential is there, I’m not sure. The good thing is with “most things astronomy” the fun is in the trying.
Here are a few viewing tips from the NASA Meteoriod Environmental Office’s Rhiannon Blaauw: