It’s that time of year again. The Perseid Meteor Shower is back again. Each August the Earth moves through the densest part of the tail of the comet Swift-Tuttle.
The best time to see the shower is from midnight to 5 am Wednesday morning. For those who aren’t early birds, the meteor shower can be seen tonight from 9 to midnight also. Look about half way up and towards the east-north east. The meteors will radiate from the area of the constellation Perseus. It is predicted that during the peak time it will be possible to see 60-100 meteors an hour.
A few more pieces of pertinent information, which you may wish to dazzle your friends or kids with: A small object passing through space is a meteoroid; if it hits the Earth’s atmosphere and becomes luminescent, it becomes a meteor; if some part of it survives its passage through the atmosphere and hits the ground, that part is a meteorite. Should anyone ask, the Perseids are burning up at a temperature of over 3000 degrees Fahrenheit (1650 Celsius), and become visible to the naked eye at about 60 miles up.
The moon is half full tonight so there will be some light pollution to detract from the splendor of a good meteor shower. Inclement weather can also be a problem as there is some cloud cover today.
Just to whet your appetite even further, here’s a video a man named John Chumack shot in Dayton, Ohio a few days ago, compressed down to a few seconds. And that was before the peak!