Don’t miss these celestial fireworks!

Posted on August 7, 2008. Filed under: astronomy, atmosphere, comets, Earth, Earthlings, meteor showers, Moon, news, Perseid meteor shower, Perseids, Perseus constellation, ram pressure, random, science, shooting stars, sky, space, stargazing, Sun, Swift-Tuttle comet | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Perseid meteor shower is expected to peak on the morning of August 12, 2008.

A Perseid streaking across the sky in St.Polycarpe, Quebec, Canada…


Image: Frederic Hore (from http://www.spaceweather.com)

Meteor showers occur when the Earth passes through the orbit of a comet. Comets leave behind dust and other particles when they pass by the Sun. When the Earth moves through the orbit of a comet, these particles enter our atmosphere at a very high speed. Since most of them are tiny particles, they vapourise completely on entering the atmosphere due to the ram pressure (pressure exerted on an object as it passes through a fluid medium – can be a liquid or a gas), leaving a trail of light that is visible from the surface of the Earth as a “shooting star”.

This particular meteor shower appears to come from the Perseus constellation and has been named as the Perseid meteor shower. The Perseids occur when our planet passes through the orbit of the Swift-Tuttle comet.

The meteor shower will be quite active from August 8 to August 14, with the peak occurring on the morning of August 12. Once the Moon sets on August 12, one should be able to watch at least a few of these shooting stars in the dark sky before sunrise. The best place would be the countryside, as far away from the city as possible.

Hopefully, the Perseids won’t disappoint Earthlings waiting to catch a glimpse of these beautiful shooting stars! ๐Ÿ™‚

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9 Responses to “Don’t miss these celestial fireworks!”

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So many times, I’ve tried to go out and watch meteor showers, only to never, ever, see even one shooting star. I even made a point to drive out from the city to avoid the light pollution problem. Have you ever seen a shooting star yourself?

Eileen
Dedicated Elementary Teacher Overseas (in the Middle East)
elementaryteacher.wordpress.com

lol ๐Ÿ™‚ will see,didn’t even know about it!

[…] – Some Knitting Progress! saved by lancew2008-08-08 – Donโ€™t miss these celestial fireworks! saved by […]

ahhhh, what a sight! ๐Ÿ™‚

Eileen,

Unfortunately, I havenโ€™t seen a shooting star so far ๐Ÿ˜ฆ According to an old superstition, if you spot a shooting star in the sky and make a wish, it would be fulfilled ๐Ÿ™‚ I am not superstitious, but Iโ€™ve always wanted to see a shooting star. I did watch the sky the other night, but it was a bit cloudy and I did not see too many stars, let alone a shooting star ๐Ÿ˜ฆ The Perseids have disappointed this Earthling ๐Ÿ˜
โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€“
Vishesh,

Did you see one the other night? I doubt it, as we Chennaikaarargal (Chennaiites) were not so lucky this time ๐Ÿ˜
โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€“
Sakhi,

It certainly is a beautiful sight! ๐Ÿ™‚

Eileen, I can sympathize with your quandry of trying to see meteors, and in my case even photographing them as with my image displayed above (a pleasant surprise I might add).

Consult spaceweather.com for updates on “showers” – the next major one is due in mid-December (the name escapes me for the moment). Then on the day of the event, clear skies permitting, take along a blanket and find a comfortable spot away from city lights to lie down and watch the darkened sky.

On most nights, you may catch one or two meteors whizzing by, but you have to be really patient… and stay awake!

Cheers,
Frederic in Montreal, Canada

Frederic,

Thanks for your wonderful photograph and for allowing me to use it on this blog without asking you.

And thanks for the tips! I’m sure it would be useful to many.

What a terrific photo! Perseid Meteors were visible 30 minutes south of Chicago last night, with a little patience. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Full credit for the photo goes to Frederic.

I guess you Chicagoans were very lucky this time! ๐Ÿ™‚


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