The Perseids

The Perseids are here, one of the best showers of the year. The above photo is courtesy of NASA.

I decided to get my own pictures of the shower. So I get my camera ready, tripod ready and I’m all set. My plan was (and still is) to go out early in the morning; my skies are generally very nice in the morning. Not a small consideration is I live at an intersection and while I don’t have a high traffic volume, in the evening it is enough probably to interfere with long exposures. The mornings are a different story, plenty of time.

Yesterday morning was a wash-out with the last of some rain that lasted until just after daylight. So this morning I get going and look out the window, perfect sky, absolutely beautiful. had to stop and feed Scout and Holly (the cat and dog) and let Holly out to, well you can guess.

Anyway I go charging out, set my tripod down and look up – clouds had moved in. This situation has happened to me here before. There is always tonight / tomorrow morning and this should be the peak of the shower. Weather forecast says rain showers later today, hopefully clearing by morning.

So if you have the opportunity get outside and basically look up. The radiant or the point where the showers originate from is the constellation Perseus. Pretty easy to find, the finders map below centered at 03:45 local time shows Perseus can be found opposite of Ursa Major; if you think of this as the Big Dipper just follow the handle as you can see in this screen shot from The SkyX (click for a larger version):

There are many places you can find information, here are a couple I like:

Time and Date – You can enter your location and get a variety of helpful information tailored to your locale.

and of course: NASA’s InDepth Perseids page.

Don’t worry too much about finding the origin though, this is typically a very good show and the origin will be evident — GOOD LUCK!