For the next 2 nights we should all be outside star gazing as the annual Perseids Meteor Shower takes place. In August every year the earth passes through the debris from the tail of the Swift Tuttle Comet. Some of the debris particles are no bigger than a grain of sand and as it makes contact with the earths atmosphere it burns up leaving a visible streak of light.
The astronomers say that the meteor shower will peak between Tuesday evening and Thursday morning, with the best time to see it will be just before it gets light tomorrow. (I won’t be getting up then!). To see the Perseids Meteor Shower you need clear skys, fingers crossed as the forecast is a bit cloudy, and to be away from street lights. The moon is meant to be a bit high in the sky tonight but you will still be able to see the meteor shower quite clearly, and they reckon on 80 – 100 meteors per hour.
This year is the International Year of Astronomy and there is a planned MeteorWatch on Twitter with the tag #meteorwatch, and you can also follow @astronomy2009UK for the latest tweets, sighting and pictures. Apparently you don’t need any special telescope or camera as the meteors should be visible to the naked eye and a good digital camara should be able to capture the display.
Lets hope that this meteor that has such a big, wide and long tail doesn’t change direction and fall to earth and leave a huge great big crater!
Photography by VerismoVita