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Perseids Meteor Shower Maximum Is This Weekend 43

Posted by Soulskill
from the comets-throwing-rocks-at-us dept.
New submitter turp182 writes to remind us that the Perseid meteor shower will be visible this weekend (Aug. 11-13). Astronomers are anticipating the Perseid shower being the best of the year, forecasting rates as high as 100 meteors per hour. They'll be visible through the night, but viewing will be at its best in the hours before dawn. NASA points out that this shower will be particularly interesting thanks to appearances from Venus, Jupiter, and the crescent moon. "On August 11th, a 33% crescent Moon will glide by Jupiter, temporarily forming a bright pair directly above brilliant Venus. Red-giant star Aldebaran will be there, too, adding a splash of color to the gathering. On August 12th, the narrowing 24% crescent Moon will drop down between Jupiter and Venus. Together they make a bright 3-point line in the sky, frequently bisected by shooting stars. On August 13th, with the shower just beginning to wane, the planets put on their best show yet: The 17% crescent moon will pass less than 3 degrees from Venus as Jupiter hovers overhead. Sky watchers say there's nothing prettier than a close encounter between the slender crescent Moon and Venus--nothing, that is, except for the crescent Moon, Venus and a flurry of Perseids."
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Perseids Meteor Shower Maximum Is This Weekend

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  • by Anne_Nonymous (313852) on Friday August 10, 2012 @04:46PM (#40951917) Homepage Journal

    This is the only shower some of you basement dwellers get all year.

  • DVR (Score:4, Funny)

    by FlopEJoe (784551) on Friday August 10, 2012 @05:13PM (#40952197)
    "viewing will be at its best in the hours before dawn." Too early... I'll DVR it.
  • by gatfirls (1315141) on Friday August 10, 2012 @05:42PM (#40952505)
    Produce a meteor the size of a house and drop it on the AC who's spamming today. Is there a filter to hide AC posts yet?
    • The size of a house would be grossly insufficient. The sort of meteorite appropriate for this rascal would pose a threat to humanity and the planet. We simply need to capture this pest and launch him/it/her into space directly toward -- but in the opposite trajectory of - the meanest thing out there, which is probably a black hole. A steady trail of their kind would be a soothing fact to ponder while gazing upward.
    • Is there a filter to hide AC posts yet?

      If you aren't man enough to browse at -1, then don't.

      The default threshold is 2 for a reason.

  • There will be lots of sex happening on beaches and in wide open fields far away from light pollution.

  • WHERE?!? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarwinSurvivor (1752106) on Friday August 10, 2012 @06:34PM (#40953011)
    It seems every time slashdot (or anyone else for that matter) announce an up-and-coming once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event that we MUST see, they completely forget to say WHERE the damn thing will be visible and what timezone the damn times are in. This one just says "before dawn" before WHO's dawn and in what part of the world?!?
    • The summary said 11-13th, so I assume any location with clear skies.
    • by turp182 (1020263)
      Northeastern sky from the US.
    • Re:WHERE?!? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Kelson (129150) * on Friday August 10, 2012 @07:43PM (#40953521) Homepage Journal

      Anywhere with clear skies, though as I understand it you can see more in the Northern hemisphere.

      This is an event that takes place over several days and is based on the Earth's path through the solar system, so it doesn't matter what time zone you're in. Wherever you are, your patch of land will rotate into the right position at the same local time.

    • Re:WHERE?!? (Score:4, Informative)

      by LittleRedStar (723170) on Friday August 10, 2012 @08:29PM (#40953809)

      For meteor showers the statement "before dawn" is correct for virtually everyone, anywhere. The reason is simple: the Earth is rotating towards the forward motion of our orbital path and we tend to run into the most particles (meteors) at that time. Bugs on a windshield. You are right in bitching that in this case, the Perseid meteor shower is more visible for Norther Hemisphere observers. Not likely you'll see many down in Argentina.

      I should note the best display of meteors is only going to happen when you are out at a dark rural location with an unobstructed horizon. Rarely do they tell you the forecast rates are for an ideal situation that few could possibly achieve. You will see less than 100 per hour but one meteor per minute is likely at peak and its pretty impressive to watch.

      As to what part of the world will see it best does depend on your longitude, so it is related to your timezone. Good observation. The point of maximum meteor stream density, the peak of the meteor shower, can be narrow or wide. The Perseids are an old meteor shower seen for thousands of years and its peak is fairly broad, many hours. Therefor there is some latitude in your position.

      The best source of information about meteor showers, including their predicted peak time, is going to be found on the International Meteor Organization (IMO) website [imo.net]. They have a "live" update running for major showers like the Perseids. Consult their yearly calendar for predicted 'peak' dates. Many yearly astronomical handbooks provide meteor shower information as well. [shameless plug] I wrote an iPhone app (Meteor Shower Guide [meteorshowerguide.com]) using IMO and American Meteor Society (AMS [amsmeteors.org]) data that calculates your peak time based on your phones timezone setting, and its in local time! No need to wait for someone to tell you about a meteor shower, it will add it to your iPhone's calendar if you like.

      The question that always drives me crazy is when people ask "where do I look?". Just look up! If you go out to a dark site with a clear horizon you will see plenty of meteors during the Persied shower. You'd have to be asleep or looking at the ground to miss them. If its clear at your location Saturday night to Sunday morning get out and watch.

      • by fatphil (181876)
        """
        For meteor showers the statement "before dawn" is correct for virtually everyone, anywhere. The reason is simple: the Earth is rotating towards the forward motion of our orbital path and we tend to run into the most particles (meteors) at that time. Bugs on a windshield.
        """

        The earth's rotation on its axis being the important thing makes no geometric sense. The forward motion will be minimal for those at midday, nearest the sun, and effectively spinning in the opposite direction of the earth's orbit. The
    • by turp182 (1020263)
      It's my fault, I will admit, in terms of details about the event. I've noticed that such reminders are often after the event, and I submitted a terribly short description, not including any details, but a link which wasn't used. I submitted this text: "The Perseids maximum is on August 12th/13th, but Saturday night looks to be pretty good as well. The moon won't be an issue. In the midwest cloud cover shouldn't be an issue ei Mther." And this link: http://meteorshowersonline.com/perseids.html [meteorshowersonline.com] I believe
    • by M1FCJ (586251)

      It is a worldwide thing. Any place, any time but especially after the midnight and it gets better towards the later hours of the night (the sky above your patch of Earth starts sweeping the space in front of Earth's orbit at that time and you start to see more after midnight. Add an hour if you have summertime for the real midnight.

  • by snspdaarf (1314399) on Friday August 10, 2012 @06:40PM (#40953065)

    Red-giant star Aldebaran

    I thought the Empire blew that up in the first movie.

  • by AbigailBellamy (2705597) on Friday August 10, 2012 @07:04PM (#40953245)
    http://spacedex.com/perseids [spacedex.com] - Enjoy!

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