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Perseid Meteor Shower tonight – Time & Tips to watch Meteor Shower

Posted by admin on Aug 13, 2010 | Leave a Comment
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The Perseid Meteor Shower is an annual astronomical event that takes place in early August. It is a fascinating sky event and people will be able to witness a celestial fireworks display. Current year 2010, people can observe Perseid Meteor Shower over the night of Thursday 12th to Friday 13th, 2010. The Perseid Meteor Shower takes place as the earth passes through the rock and dust fragments left from an ancient comet called Swift-Tuttle. As these small particles, no bigger than a grain of sand collide with the Earth’s atmosphere resulting in a luminous, startling streak of light across the sky. Every one can easily observe this and it can be a wondrous spectacle.

When can you see the Meteor Shower?

The exact time of the Perseid meteor shower is not known but astronomers have expected the optimal viewing times between the hours of 8pm and early tomorrow morning around 2am. If you are in the US, the peak may be earlier in your night, while for those in Asia and the East, the peak may be later in your night.

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Actually, the Perseid meteor shower starts in late July and runs to late August. But, the best time to view is around the peak. There is always indecision in these meteor shower predictions, so it may be very advisable to observe during the hours of darkness and certainly, other nights, before and after the expected peak.

During the current year, the moon will not be a problem. Moonlight will be very limited as only a 2-day-old sliver that creates conditions for meteor observation very favorable (as long as the sky is clear of course).

What equipment do you require to observe the meteor shower?

To observe the meteor shower, no equipments are required. You can see it with your eyes. If you give your eyes some time (say 15 minutes), it will help your observation to become adapted to the darkness.

Binoculars may also help to observe, however on the other hand, they may restrict your view to a small part of the sky. The meteors create in the region of Perseus but they may become visible just about anywhere in the sky.

What’s the Best Way to See the Meteor Shower?

An area with minimal light is the best way to view this shower (and any meteor shower, for that matter). You’ll get a much better view if you can drive to the country where there are no street lights or buildings. Additionally, if you live near a lake or are visiting a cottage and have a boat, taking the boat into the middle of the lake or ocean will be, by far, the best way to observe the show.

Some tips to watch the meteor shower show:

  • Arrive at your viewing destination at least 15 minutes before your viewing time. That is the average time it takes for human eyes to fully adjust to darkness.
  • It is best to outlook the event in a rural area, away from city light. Only the brightest streaks will be observable in urban areas.
  • Carry a blanket or reclining lawn chair. Sitting with your neck skewed for hours in a normal chair can get painful.
  • Bring a decent amount of bug spray. Mosquitoes particularly love to feast on meteor shower fans.
  • The meteors will instigate from the Perseus constellation. For prime viewing, drive north toward the constellation.
  • Avoid looking at your cell phone or any other light as both destroy night vision. Use a red light if you have to look at something on Earth.
  • Put away the telescope or binoculars. Allow your eyes hang loose and don’t look in any one specific spot. Relaxed eyes will rapidly zone in on any movement up above.

Dr. Bill Cooke, head of the Meteoroid Environment Office, gave some information on the Perseids on the NASA site:

  • Perseids usually appear yellow, but some people say they have a slight greenish tint.
  • The meteors of the Perseids hit the atmosphere at a speed of 133,000 mph.
  • Though the meteors exude from the constellation Perseus, avoid looking there to see them. Instead, keep your eyes on the sky straight above you, which astronomers call the “zenith.”
  • In order for a meteor to hit the Earth, it must be larger than the width of a football field, which would technically make it an asteroid.
  • A meteoroid measures just a millimeter to a centimeter across but the streak of light it makes can range from the length of a battleship to miles.
  • In the western sky, four planets will also be visible tonight.

Meteor shower lights up Twitter video from Youtube:

TK Talking about The Perseid Meteor Shower Tonight video from Youtube:

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