Friday, August 12, 2005

"The Tears of St. Lawrence."

Just stepped outside (Midnight) and caught a couple of Perseid meteors. Well, I didn't actually catch them, just saw them as they burned up in the atmosphere.

Today, August 12, is the peak of the meteor activity for the Perseids.

In 2005, the Perseids are expected to reach their maximum on Aug. 12. Peak activity is unfortunately predicted for the daylight hours across North America. Sky watchers are thus encouraged to watch during the predawn hours of Friday, Aug. 12 and again during the early morning hours of Saturday.

Observers will be favored by an absence of bright moonlight during these intervals. At midnorthern latitudes, moonset occurs on the evening of Aug. 11 at around 11-p.m. local daylight time and around 11:20 p.m. the following night. Since dawn doesn’t break until around 4:30 a.m., that means there will be about 5 to 5½ hours of dark, moonless skies for the two best viewing nights for the Perseids.

Visit Space.com for more information, and an explanation of the post title. More information here.

For the past few years it has been a hit or miss activity, but when my kids were young we all used to go out and lay in the street to observe this annual meteor shower. The street gave us an unobstructed view of the sky, and lying down saved sore neck muscles. With the development in my neighborhood, doing the same now could result in unwanted tire tracks across various portions or your anatomy.

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