Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. 24/7 Space News .




DEEP IMPACT
The 2008 Perseid Meteor Shower
by Dr. Tony Phillips
Huntsville AL (SPX) Jul 24, 2008


A Perseid meteor over Joshua Tree National Park in California, August 11, 2007. Credit: Joe Westerberg.

Mark your calendar: The 2008 Perseid meteor shower peaks on August 12th and it should be a good show. "The time to look is during the dark hours before dawn on Tuesday, August 12th," says Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center.

"There should be plenty of meteors--perhaps one or two every minute."

The source of the shower is Comet Swift-Tuttle. Although the comet is far away, currently located beyond the orbit of Uranus, a trail of debris from the comet stretches all the way back to Earth. Crossing the trail in August, Earth will be pelted by specks of comet dust hitting the atmosphere at 132,000 mph.

At that speed, even a flimsy speck of dust makes a vivid streak of light when it disintegrates--a meteor! Because, Swift-Tuttle's meteors streak out of the constellation Perseus, they are called "Perseids."

(Note: In the narrative that follows, all times are local. For instance, 9:00 pm means 9:00 pm in your time zone, where you live. )

Serious meteor hunters will begin their watch early, on Monday evening, August 11th, around 9 pm when Perseus first rises in the northeast.

This is the time to look for Perseid Earthgrazers--meteors that approach from the horizon and skim the atmosphere overhead like a stone skipping across the surface of a pond.

"Earthgrazers are long, slow and colorful; they are among the most beautiful of meteors," says Cooke. He cautions that an hour of watching may net only a few of these at most, but seeing even one can make the whole night worthwhile.

A warm summer night. Bright meteors skipping overhead. And the peak is yet to come. What could be better?

The answer lies halfway up the southern sky: Jupiter and the gibbous Moon converge on August 11th and 12th for a close encounter in the constellation Sagittarius: sky map. It's a grand sight visible even from light-polluted cities.

For a while the beautiful Moon will interfere with the Perseids, lunar glare wiping out all but the brightest meteors. Yin-yang.

The situation reverses itself at 2 am on Tuesday morning, August 12th, when the Moon sets and leaves behind a dark sky for the Perseids. The shower will surge into the darkness, peppering the sky with dozens and perhaps hundreds of meteors until dawn.

For maximum effect, "get away from city lights," Cooke advises. The brightest Perseids can be seen from cities, he allows, but the greater flurry of faint, delicate meteors is visible only from the countryside. (Scouts, this is a good time to go camping.)

The Perseids are coming. Enjoy the show!

.


Related Links
Asteroid and Comet Impact Danger To Earth - News and Science






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





DEEP IMPACT
The eta Aquarid Meteor Shower
Washington DC (SPX) May 05, 2008
The eta Aquarid meteor shower peaks this year on Tuesday, May 6th. The best time to look, no matter where you live, is during the hours immediately before sunrise. If you can, get away from city lights; you will see more meteors from the dark countryside. 2008 should be a good year for the eta Aquarid meteors. The Moon is new, which means no lunar glare, and Earth is expected to pass ... read more


DEEP IMPACT
Space focus shifts back toward moon

ILO Instrument On Odyssey Moon's Google Lunar X PRIZE Mission

Online Casino Reports Bets On Lunar Gambling

Brown-Led Team Finds Evidence Of Water In Lunar Interior

DEEP IMPACT
NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander Prepares For Next Sample Analysis

Phoenix Completes Longest Work Shift

Mars Sample Return: Bridging Robotic And Human Exploration

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander Works Through the Night

DEEP IMPACT
UCF Project Selected For NASA Explorer Mission

UK Space Competition Unearths Young Talent

Magellan Aerospace Wins Lockheed Martin Orion Contract

House Passes S And T Bills Commemorating NASA's 50th Anniversary, First Woman In Space

DEEP IMPACT
China's Astronauts To Wear Domestic, Russian-Made Suits

Shenzhou's Unsuitable Dilemma

China's Long March 2F Rocket Ready For Trip To Launch Center

Shenzhou 7 Shipped To Launch Center For October Launch

DEEP IMPACT
ISS Crew Inspired By Vision And Dreams Of Jules Verne

Space chiefs ponder ISS transport problem, post-2015 future

Space Station A Test-Bed For Future Space Exploration

Two Russian cosmonauts begin new space walk

DEEP IMPACT
Soyuz-ST To Be Launched From French Guiana In First Half Of 2009

South Korea's First Rocket Launch Might Be Put Off

AMC-21 Is Delivered To Spaceport

Sea Launch Delivers Echostar 11 To Orbit

DEEP IMPACT
Chemical Clues Point To Dusty Origin For Earth-Like Planets

Astronomers discover clutch of 'super-Earths'

Vanderbilt Astronomers Getting Into Planet-Finding Game

NASA Selects MIT-Led Team To Develop Planet-Searching Satellite

DEEP IMPACT
Big Space Junk

RT Logic Awarded South Pole TDRSS Relay II Project

APL-Operated Midcourse Space Experiment Ends

Pre-Design Of Laser Weapon Control System Completed




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement