Thursday, August 12, 2010

Perseid Meteorite Shower

Every year, from the middle of July until the last week in August, the skies of the northern hemishpere put on a show of shooting stars that, this year, peaks in intensity today and through this weekend.

The Perseid meteors, so called because they seem to radiate from the Perseus constellation, are debris from the Swift-Tuttle comet and have been seen and noted for 2000 years.

The constellation is named after Perseus, son of Zeus and Danae, who killed the Gorgon Medusa. The constellation "looks" like Perseus with medusa's head in his hand.

The show of shooting stars will be quite spectacular this year, with nearly 90 per minute - way above the average of 60. Also, the moon will set fairly early which improves viewing. EarthSky website has information and tips for watching the show.

So, those lucky enough to have clear skies tonight can join those in observatories, on hill tops, and in backyards around the world to enjoy what is arguably THE "Starry Night" in the northern hemisphere.












10 comments:

Ciss B said...

I've watched the meteorite shower for a number of years, usually on my back on a Lake Michigan beach near here. I often enjoyed them with my boys for years simply counting as many shooting stars as we could - out loud of course!

Vincent is a cool song, I remember it well.

ChrisJ said...

Christi,

That would be fun - great memories for kids.

We're starting to cloud over here, so we may not get to see it tonight.

Corinne Rodrigues said...

I don't think we get that out here in India.....But I do love a starry night..and I do love Don Maclean...Thanks for the information and the song...Wishing you many beautiful, starry, starry nights...

ChrisJ said...

Corinne,

Thanks.

We were actually a little disappointed - didn't see that many here either.

askcherlock said...

Missed the meteorite shower but this song by Don Maclean is one of my all time favorites. Thanks for sharing it!

ChrisJ said...

Cher,

Me too - the song that is. Don McLean looks so young in the video!

Pearl said...

I do have to remember to look up for that. thanks for the earthsky link. I had that before but couldn't recall it.

ChrisJ said...

Pearl,

Hope you see something; we didn't see very many shooting stars last night or the night before. Maybe not dark enough?

Owen Gray said...

The song is pure poetry.

ChrisJ said...

Owen,

Yes, I've always loved it, too.