Somethings in Life are Magic–Don't Miss Them: Perseid Shower Tonight
When a “star” shoots across the sky trailing a silver scarf behind it, magic happens in a child’s heart. I know because 40 years ago I lay on old army cot staring up in amazement as the stars danced. Since then I’ve only missed a year or maybe two laying out in August to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower. Earlier this year, I slept out and watched another shower in July. My eight year old was again enchanted. He saw 15 and I doubt he’ll ever forget the beauty. Tonight you might be able to see as much as 80-100 per hour!
Tonight you can enjoy this (with or without children) by going to a dark place with an open view of the sky. The best times are in the early morning of tomorrow and the next day but anytime after 9:30 should be good this evening. Lay back on the ground with a blanket or on a lawn chair. Face towards the North East. The area where the shooting stars appear to most often come from is low on the horizon early in the night but it will raise as it gets later.
Settle in with some good company and wonder over the wandering stars trailing silver mist behind them. The joy of watching the stars fall is doubled when you do it with someone you like.
Comet of Origin: 109P/Swift-Tuttle
Radiant: constellation Perseus
Active: Perseids begin to rise early August.
Peak Activity: Aug. 12-13, 2010
Peak Activity Meteor Count: Approximately 50 meteors per hour
Time of Optimal Viewing: Crescent moon will set early in the evening, allowing for dark skies all the way up until peak viewing just before dawn
Meteor Velocity: 61 kilometers (38 miles) per second
Note: The Perseid meteor shower is one of the most consistent performers and considered by many as 2010’s best shower. The meteors they produce are among the brightest of all meteor showers.