The Perseid Meteor Shower

meteor showerAugust brings us the Perseid Meteor Shower. For anyone that has never experienced a meteor shower the Perseid, which is thanks to the Comet Swift-Tuttle, is a perfect opportunity! They are called the Persieds because they appear to come from the Constellation of Perseus.

The Perseids /ˈpərsiːɪdz/ are a prolific meteor shower associated with the comet Swift–Tuttle. The Perseids are so called because the point from which they appear to come, called the radiant, lies in the constellation Perseus. The name derives in part from the word Perseides (Περσείδες), a term found in Greek mythology referring to the sons of Perseus.

Perseids. (n.d.). Retrieved July 30, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perseids
Now if you are in NH and you want to watch these it should be a great year for viewing  as this year will be a big year because they expect an outburst.  What this means is that they will appear at twice the normal rate. The rate could top 100 to 200 per hour.
So if you have never seen a meteor shower this is the perfect year to do so. They are common in the first half of August.
What I normally do to watch them in Concord, NH is make a cup of hot chocolate and go out on my back porch at 11 pm.  Remember look to the Northeast and do not forget to look at the widest area of sky, Binoculars and telescope are not required, I find it better to not use them at all when viewing a meteor shower.

 

The light pollution in Concord is not that bad and my eyes adjust in about 15 minutes after going outside. For those of you outside of the city the viewing will be even better.   For more information on what meteor showers are and what causes the Perseids specifically go to this website: http://www.space.com/32868-perseid-meteor-shower-guide.html. This years showers have already started, so you can see them tonight but August 12th is when they will be peaking.

 

They are viewable now as I said and I am sure after our next stated on August 10th,  we can look up to the northeast when we are by our cars and catch a few as we are talking.

 

For those of you who are HAM radio operators remember that there is also a chance to talk using the ionized trails of the meteors and  to communicate with stations or other Ham Radio Mason nets up to 2250 Kilometers away.   More information here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meteor_burst_communications

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