Perseid Meteor Shower Starts Peak Activity

Written by The Night Sky Guy on August 11, 2013 – 2:04 pm -

Warm summer nights and awe-inspiring shooting stars are an unbeatable combination!

That’s why skywatchers look forward to the annual Perseid meteor shower. Visible with the naked eye from the city to cottage country, dozens of “shooting stars” will light up the late-night skies. With the waxing crescent moon setting below the horizon in the early evening, the peak dates of August 11th through the 13th, this cosmic light show will surely put on an impressive display. Skywatchers get to see a flurry of shooting stars start 10 pm with rates increasing until pre-dawn hours. Anywhere from 20 to 80 shooting stars per hour depending on local sky conditions and amount of light pollution.

Get your full observer’s guide at National Geographic News

Here also is my Night Sky episode that talks all about the shower…


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Perseids Meteor Peak Tonite and Hit Moon!

Written by The Night Sky Guy on August 11, 2012 – 12:30 pm -

Warm summer nights and awe-inspiring shooting stars are an unbeatable combination! That’s why skywatchers look forward to the annual Perseid meteor shower. Visible with the naked eye from the city to cottage country, dozens of “shooting stars” will light up the late-night skies. With the waning crescent moon rising above the horizon only around 1 am tonight, the peak date of August 11th, this cosmic light show will surely put on an impressive display. Skywatchers get to see a flurry of shooting stars start 10 pm with rates increasing until pre-dawn hours Sunday. Anywhere from 20 to 80 shooting stars per hour depending on local sky conditions.

Here is my Night Sky episode that talks all about the shower and some bonus planets that are joining the show too!

EXTRA:  Sky-watchers with backyard telescopes, though, might join NASA in training their lenses on the moon for an elusive, potentially flashy Perseid sideshow.

Read my National Geographic observers guide for more information on how some backyard telescope owners watch Persieds actually impact the moon!… http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/08/120810-perseid-meteor-shower-perseids-science-space-astronomy/


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Montreal Meteor Shower Party

Written by The Night Sky Guy on August 12, 2011 – 4:54 pm -

Well the Perseid meteor shower peak is almost here and reports from around the world are looking good with on average 20 shooting stars per hour. Of course with the full moon blocking out the fainter meteors the show won’t be as spectacular as in some years but the event should be a crowd pleaser.

For a viewer’s guide to the Perseids check out my National Geographic story .

If you are in Montreal tonight and there is clear skies then why not join me for a Perseid meteor shower party!  The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Montreal centre is hosting a public star party at the Morgan Arboretum in Ste. Anne-de-Bellevue, starting at 9 pm with a brief talk given by your truly. And if the weather permits volunteers will have telescopes t view the Moon and stars. and of course for the meteor shower I recommend bring a blanket and/or reclining lawn chairs to enjoy the Perseids.

You will find directions here

Wishing everyone a great sky show!


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Perseids Shower Underway

Written by The Night Sky Guy on August 12, 2010 – 10:35 am -

Get set for a great show! Skywatchers worldwide are reporting that the pre game show night before the peak,  meteor counts were averaging up to 40 per hour from some locales. These higher numbers were probably from observers in dark locations away from the light pollution of cities, and so many of the fainter metoers were visible. But still this bodes well for even those caught within city limits – tonight’s main act peak numbers should at least double! Check out the worldwide Perseid meteor count chart in my previous entry below, courtesy of IMO. How best to watch the meteor shower? Check out my guide here. Stay tuned for updates…

Also here are some cool links just  underneath to some great meteor shower online resources – in case you are stuck indoors or clouded out. Tip of the hat to Spaceweather.com.

 

 

Don’t  forget you can always get late-breaking stargazing news anytime by joining my fanpage on Facebook, or get  email alerts sent directly to your inbox


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August Sky Highlights

Written by The Night Sky Guy on August 10, 2010 – 11:45 am -

Check out this great video put together by the folks at JPL NASA on the Perseids and planets this week.


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Banner Year for Perseids

Written by The Night Sky Guy on August 14, 2009 – 7:00 am -

click image to enlarge

Check out this amazing composite photo of 130 shooting stars snapped using a  fisheye lens showing the entire overhead sky, taken by NASA astronomers in Alabama during peak time on Tuesday morning.

“…we recorded a bright meteor or fireball over the Marshall Space Flight Center every 3 minutes–a fabulous rate,” says Bill Cooke of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office.  Tip of the hat to spaceweather.com for this report. 

Observers worldwide say that meteor rates skyrocketed to 200 per hour which fits perfectly with the predictions made last week.


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Meteor Snapshots

Written by The Night Sky Guy on August 13, 2009 – 11:48 am -

It’s the morning after the peak of the Perseid meteor shower and reports are coming in from all over the world – it appears to have been a banner year for them. Predictions of the significant spike in the early morning hours of Tuesday came to pass with reports of 190 plus shooting stars in the hour of 4 am ET. This may bode well for accuracy of calculations that will be made on future meteor showers. For skywatchers this means you will be able to more reliably time your observation sessions to coincide with the best show time. For this year plenty of reports of fireballs visible, and many managed to capture parts of the show with their cameras. You can check out a growing photo-gallery at spaceweather.com of the 2009 Perseid meteor shower right here .

Reminder:While the peak may have past you can still catch some Perseid stragglers over the course of the next few nights. If you live in the burbs you can expect to see about 10 meteors per hour – with a few fireballs thrown in here and there. Definitely worth looking up!


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Meteor Show Still On

Written by The Night Sky Guy on August 12, 2009 – 4:50 pm -

Release of the official meteor rates from early this morning when one of the peaks were supposed to occur is starting to come in now and some observers were reporting a sharp spike in numbers with more than 160 shooting stars in the 4 am ET hour period – exactly as predicted. Also emails from observers across North America are telling me that the show was good in many places despite the bright Moon.   Don’t forget to go outside tonight (Aug.12) as there will be many more Perseids falling as Earth continues to plow through the Swift-Tuttle debris cloud.  While we do have predictions to go by for how many meteors might fall per hour, these are ONLY theoretical calculations. The best way to know is to actually sit under the night sky and see for yourself.

How many shooting stars did you see last night? Were you in the city or out under dark country skies?   I was stuck under a very hazy and light polluted city sky last night but still managed to count 26 meteors in about a two hour observation session with only a limited slice of the overhead sky visible thanks to surrounding trees and houses.  So I am sure I missed most of the show. By far the highlights for me were the two fireballs that both appeared to blaze a trail right through the Summer Triangle in the overhead skies around midnight. One of them had a smoke trail that even lingered on for a few seconds and was made easily visible thanks to the bright moonlight. Will give it another go tonight.


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Cloudy? Listen to the Meteor Shower

Written by The Night Sky Guy on August 11, 2009 – 6:55 pm -

If you had plans to watch the Persied meteor shower tonight but the weather is not cooperating, don’t fret because you can still catch the audio portion of the fireworks show. You can listen to meteors streaking through Earth’s atmosphere LIVE on the web from your home computer.  Tip of the hat to spaceweather.com for providing this service for free. What you can hear are the echoes of radar signals reflecting off meteor trails about 40 to 100 miles in altittude. The equipment is located at a US Air force Base in Lake Kickapoo, Texas. The best time of course will be when night has fallen at the radar station tonight and tomorrow. 

Check it out Here

Enjoy the Show!


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Meteor Shower Under Way

Written by The Night Sky Guy on August 11, 2009 – 8:17 am -

The Perseids have started to kick in now and will be really active for the next 12 hours or so. Start looking after your local dusk tonight until dawn tomorrow morning .  As of Monday night-early this morning  (Aug.11) international observers are reporting a steady 30 shooting stars per hour, with some reports of up to 40. 

But it will be about 4 am Eastern Time (1 am PT) tomorrow (Aug.12) period that is of particular interest because astronomers predict we may slam into a particularly dense cloud of Perseid particles and there may be a burst of shooting stars – possibly up to 200 per hour, at that time.  Even with the Moon in the way there should be plenty to see. Just remember to keep your back to the Moon when looking at the overhead skies – that way you get to maintain your night vision. Also keep an eye out for spectaular fireballs peppering the show. Read my blog entries below for more viewing details.

 In the city the current forecast now calls for about 30 – 80 per hour throughout the night. Hopefully you’ll have clear skies. Please send me reports on how the show went in your neck of the woods.

Here is a little video guide I made for the 2008 Perseids.


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