Get the coffee and mosquito repellent ready…the annual Perseids meteor shower is about to begin! Each August Earth plows through space debris left over from the Comet Swift Tuttle and when the particles come into contact with the upper atmosphere…they heat up and create the beautiful light show we’ve come to love.
This year the show should be one of the better ones. The moon will be just a few days past its new phase (crescent) so the light won’t inhibit the meteor show as a full moon would. The best night for viewing will be Thursday, August 12th, most likely between 3:30 to 5:30 am, but if that’s too late (or too early) for you, there will still be a few rebel meteors making their debut after 9 p.m.
Unfortunately, for us here in the Chippewa Valley, the entire week brings a chance for showers and thunderstorms, which in turn means cloud cover…and not the best viewing conditions (although Thursday looks to be like one of the better days). Keep in mind that the night of August 12th will be the most active night where you could see a meteor every minute if sky conditions are just right. You may still be able to catch the meteors up to a week before or a week after the 12th, they’ll just be few and far between.
And finally…a little known fact: the majority of the meteor shower you see will be 5000 years old! How cool is that?!
Meteorologist LeAnn Lombardo
Posted under Hometown Weather
This post was written by llombardo on August 9, 2010