Perseids Timelapse


Unable to shake growing anticipation for peak Perseids early next week, ponders turned to finding the perfect timelapse teaser.

http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/meteor-shower-perseid-where-to/32023729

http://www.scienceworldreport.com/articles/28494/20150804/watch-perseids-meteor-shower-next-week-where-see.htm

Blue Moon and Aquarids


Find yourself marveling at tonight’s blue moon, you could stumble upon the Delta Aquarid meteor shower. Aquarids, a lessor known spectacle to summer’s show stopping Perseids, ebb and flow from July 12- August 23. Slow and steady Aquarids prefer unobtrusive reliability to all or nothing peaks. If pushed for a peak, Aquarids would utter a reluctant disclaimer – roughly the last few days of July and early August. Unfortunately, butting heads with this years’ blue moon. Although moonlight’s pollution impacts dark sky reliability of 10-20 meteors an hour, Aquarid shouldn’t be dismissed. If you prefer the cozy comforts of home – check out NASA’s All Sky Camera site, linked below the video.

http://www.nasa.gov/connect/chat/allsky.html

For “everything you need to know about the Delta Aquarids”, another link –

http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/everything-you-need-to-know-delta-aquarid-meteor-shower#when

 

Pondering Perseid


As August approaches, imprinted longing for meteors follow. Youthful recollections ebb and flow, the one constant is Perseid. These were the stars I wished upon, my source of wonder, the reason I gazed at night’s sky. Perseid lent perspective to questions I hadn’t asked, cementing the essence of who I became. Effortless memory presses damp grass against my back, heart beating to the pulse of cricket song. Swaddled in darkness, even the wind waits for Perseid.

Every year between July 17 and August 24, Earth crosses the orbital path of Comet Swift-Tuttle.  Swift-Tuttle has a wonky oblong orbit, completing one orbit around the sun every 133 years. during those years ST travels from beyond Pluto to inside Earth’s orbit. Whenever ST crosses the inner solar system heat from our sun “melts” comet ice adding cosmic debris to ST’s tail. Little break away pieces, most no larger than grains of sand slam Earth’s upper atmosphere at 210,000 kilometers an hour – the Perseids have arrived.

This year the Perseids peak August 11-13. Early northern hemisphere evening finds radiant Perseus low on the horizon, if you’re lucky a rare “Earthgrazer”might forge a horizontal blaze across the horizon. As evening becomes night the radiant point rises, Perseid abandons rehearsal for the main event. Perseid’s tantalizing sets play through the night – from midnight till first light’s encore,  expect 50-100 meteors an hour.

This year, a waning crescent moon won’t come up until just before sunrise, setting a dark stage for Perseid glory. It doesn’t matter if radiant Perseus eludes you, Perseids knock loudly. Noted for being exceptionally fast and bright, their ionized gas trails often hang in the sky for wondrous moments. Dismiss concentrating on specific direction – find a dark place, lay back and open your eyes to the cosmos. Perseid will find you.

View larger. | Meteor seen at Acadia National Park during the 2012 Perseid meteor shower.  Photo from EarthSky Facebook friend Jack Fusco Photography.  See more from Jack here.

http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/everything-you-need-to-know-perseid-meteor-shower

 

 

Hail Perseids


A few minutes ago I stepped outside for a whiff of air, apparently on cue.  Closing the door the exact moment a magnificent fireball split night’s horizon. Not some timid falling star – a full on cosmic slap, complete with adrenalin rush, racing pulse and heightened senses. Night had my undivided attention. I get goosebumps thinking about it – one of those inexplicable portraits, indelibly etched in conscience for all eternity. It’s entirely possible I danced a jig while chanting “hail Perseid” in my head.

August brings the annual Perseid meteor shower – dependable and prolific, the source of countless childhood wishes. Peaking on August 12, debris from comet Swift-Tuttle has competition this year. Reaching a zenith two days after a “super moon”, (14% bigger and 30% brighter than average full moons) light pollution plans to give Perseid a run for the money. Linked below are tips from earthsky to maximize viewing….

http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/how-to-minimize-moon-and-optimize-meteor-shower

Another link…

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/perseid-meteor-shower-peaks-near-supermoon-1.2730471

All I ask is to open your night eyes the next few days. Promise me – if Perseid smacks your head – dance an impromptu jig while chanting hail Perseid.

Some Taurid Fireballs


Forget the “light of the silvery moon” bring on a glowing shower of fireballs. Between November 5 – 12 our planet passes through debris from Comet Encke, its known as the Taurid Meteor Shower. For those who trouble themselves with statistics, the Taurids may only average 8 meteors per hour. Not much of a show compared to the Perseids. Don’t despair; Taurid brings fireballs.

One characteristic of Taurid is the space baggage it packs. Marble sized debris travels at a sluggish 27 km/second, allowing it to penetrate more of our atmosphere before burning up. Most cosmic debris enters our atmosphere at considerably higher speeds, fizzling  out a lot faster. Taurid’s slow moving space junk may have be tiny when entering our atmosphere; many a good fireball comes in small packages.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/11/111104-meteor-shower-fireballs-comet-taurids-space-science/

Taurids are already streaking through the sky.
Photo – NASA

It’s Perseid Time


Every August, Earth encounters space junk from the Swift-Tuttle Comet. The result is the Perseid meteor shower. It’s just getting started with about 10 meteors an hour. By August 12 – 13 when it reaches it’s peak, find a dark sky away from city lights to witness up to 100 meteors an hour. The best time to watch is after midnight. Scientists have dubbed this meteor shower the Perseids because the meteors streak out and away from the constellation Perseus.

This link is to National Geographic, and the photo is courtesy their site.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/08/090812-perseids-perseid-meteor-shower.html