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The Perseid meteor shower...

1257 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Pancho_Villa
The Perseid meteors fall every year and make for one of the most dazzling astronomical events of the year...this year, in the pre-dawn skies of August 11-13th.

The meteor shower occurs as the Earth's orbit takes us through the debris of the Swift-Tuttle comet. Earth's gravity pulls in some of the chunks of debris... small rocks comprised of iron-nickel, stone, other minerals or a combination of these — which turn into bright balls of hot gas when entering Earth's atmosphere. As darkness falls, the meteors appear to come from the constellation Perseus, hence the name; although later in the evening, the meteors originate higher in the sky than the constellation.

This year's display is extra special because Jupiter, Venus and the crescent moon align just as the Perseids peak. The alignment occurs in the eastern sky before sunrise on the three mornings of highest meteor activity.

Incredibly, the meteors are typically only the size of pebbles, some as small as a grain of sand. These space rocks are traveling anywhere from 25,000 to 160,000 mph, creating a dazzling "train," or tail, when they burn up in Earth's atmosphere.

At the Perseids' peak, the evening of Aug. 12, viewers can expect to see more than 100 "falling stars" per hour, and, with a waxing crescent moon, there will be little interference from moonshine. Lucky skywatchers may catch sight of a "bolide" -- an exploding meteor that ends in a bright pop of light not unlike a strobe.

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Funny how last year and this year it has to have a threat of rain every night during this event. Seems like any memorable event like this is on a cloudy night around here anymore!
I seen a few meteors streak in early this morning with my daughter...a fascination with space is something we share.

Here is "our" telescope... a Galileo 1000mm x 120mm reflector telescope which came with:

2 eyepieces (6.8 mm-16 mm zoom and 20 mm)
3x 3-element barlow lens
Pre-assembled tripod
Fast set-up super glide mount
Heavy-duty 1.25" helical R&P focuser
1.5x image erector
Mars-eye electronic finder
Heavy-duty secondary and primary mirror cells
Adjustable tube clamp
Measures approx. 20 x 9 x 42 1/2", weighs 31 lbs.
Includes accessory tray, Galileo planetarium CD-ROM with instructional video and limited 1-year manufacturer's warranty.

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I will be out early trying to watch it. Should be pretty awesome.
I use to watch it withthe family. Now I can't see well enough to see any stars. Really sux. It has been clear out here and there are no city lights to affect the clarity. Well, for those who can see.
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