Friday, August 11, 2006

The sky is falling!!!

Update: looks like the clouds will hamper viewing. Have no fear, the Perseids will be back next August. The next meteor shower will be the Orionids. They will be here Oct. 22. You should be able to see 10-15/hour.

OK, maybe the sky is not falling, but there will be meteors streaking across the sky tonight through tomorrow night.

The meteor shower is what is called the Perseid Meteor Shower. The Perseid Meteor Shower gets its name because the meteors appear to fall from a point in the constellation Perseus.

Now the shower this year will not be as great as most years because of the nearly full moon. However, you might be able to check out Perseid Earthgrazers! What is an Earthgrazer you might ask?

Earthgrazers are meteors that skim the top of Earth's atmosphere like a stone skipping across the surface of a pond. Earthgrazers are pretty rare. You might see 1 or 2 an hour, but they are worth it as they are colorful and gracefully slow. People who see one talk about it for years.

Looking for Earthgrazers is simple... just spread a blanket on the ground, lie down and look up. A reclining lawn chair facing north works just as well. Perseid Earthgrazers streak overhead, flying generally north to south.

The best time will be tonight between 8:30 to 10 pm, Saturday morning, before dawn, and Saturday evening between 8:30 - 10 pm.

If you haven't spotted an Earthgrazer by 10 p.m., you probably won't as the moon will be rising by that point.

With nearly no moonlight next year, the Perseid Meteor Shower should be quite a show!

For more information click here.

Happy Hunting!


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