Perseid Meteor Shower, August 11-12, 2013

Good news everyone! It's time to train our eyes upward and see if we can see the sons of Perseus streaking across the nighttime sky. That's right - I am talking about watching the annual Perseid Meteor Shower, which is occurring this weekend - August 11-12, 2013. According to the experts, the Perseid Meteor Shower is going to be one of the best - if not the best - meteor showers of 2013 as there will be no Moon in the nighttime sky this weekend. The Perseids are always a great meteor shower to watch, as they are one of the larger showers that have been observed from 36 A.D. onward, and the origin of the meteors is the Swift-Tuttle comet. Since there will be no Moon during the Perseids this year, many astronomers have estimated that during the peak time - from 10:00 p.m. on August 11, 2013 to 4:30 a.m. on August 12, 2013, skywatchers can expect to see 80-100 meteors scorch the sky per hour. If that isn't enough to get you outside to take a look, I don't know what is! (More information on observing the Perseids here, here, and here; and if you're interested in photographing the Perseids, click here). 

As always, you can rest assured that I will be outside watching the Perseids, because I love meteor showers. If you're interested in seeing a meteor shower for the first time, let me provide you with three handy tips: 1) Get outside. Cities provide a lot of light pollution, which makes it harder to see everything in the night sky, including the Perseids. 2) Be patient. While this might not be as important for a busy shower like the Perseids, it is applicable. Allow your eyes time to adjust to the dark; sit back; relax, and enjoy watching the universe move in inscrutable and beautiful ways. 3) Have fun! Bring food, drinks, and plenty of blankets and pillows to stay comfortable and warm. 

Interested in science? You might like this NASA app HERE; and about the dust passing through our atmosphere during the shower here.