Every year around August for the past 2000 years or so, a meteor shower called Perseids comes to town to put on a late night show! This year, the best nights for viewing will be Thursday August 12th and Friday the 13th but they should be around until sometime next week. I definitely won’t be up able to stay up late tonight to watch but sounds like a good way for Susie to spend a crazy Friday night!
Experts say that when the show is at its peak, there should be about 1 meteor per minute so that sounds like there’s a definite chance of seeing one. What you’ll be seeing are little bits of space stuff left behind in the trail of Comet Swift-Tuttle. And don’t worry; they’ll burn up in the atmosphere before impact. Apparently some of them get as close as only around 50 miles away.
If you’re not in a good area for star-gazing but still want to check it out, here’s NASA’s site where they will be Ustreaming it on Thursday night. They’ve apparently got a light-sensitive camera that turns on once it gets dark out to capture the show…isn’t the internet wonderful!
While you’re looking, there are some other cool sites in the sky right now. Saturn, Mars and Venus will be forming a triangle in the western skies. The best time to see this is shortly after sunset. Right before sunrise, the International Space Station is visible.
Enjoy the show everybody and keep reaching for the stars! (okay…I think I made a cheesy 80’s Star Search reference there, sorry….)