Avoid the city lights: it's time to look toward the starry heavens!
Space Weather News for August 12, 2010
PERSEID METEOR SHOWER: The annual Perseid meteor shower is underway. Earth is passing through a wide stream of debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle, and each time a fleck of comet dust hits Earth's atmosphere--flash!--there is a meteor. Forecasters say the shower will peak on Thursday, August 12, and Friday, August 13.
You can see Perseids flitting across the sky at any time between about 10 pm on Thursday evening and sunrise on Friday morning. Observers who get away from city lights can expect to count dozens of meteors per hour, especially during the dark hours before dawn.
Tune into SpaceWeather.com for full coverage of the shower, including a live meteor radar, a "fireball cam," updated meteor counts and pictures from around the world.
BONUS: If you go outside a little early on Thursday evening, around sunset, you'll see a beautiful gathering of planets in the sunset sky--Venus, Mars, Saturn and the crescent Moon. It's a nice way to start a meteor watch.
Sky maps may be found at SpaceWeather News.
Yes, the Perseids, plus, the line-up of planets with the Crescent Moon, will be a lovely sight to see, agreed. This Crescent Moon marks the beginning of Ramadan 2010, however, and the inclusion of 3 planets with this particular Crescent Moon (Ramadan starts with the sighting of the Lunar sliver, the symbol found on flags of the region) is significant this year.
But with Capulus and Algol (male and female rage) in the picture, two strong Fixed Stars associated with the Middle East, the energy this August may be more warrior-like than most people wish. So you may wish to read my post from August 2009 for more details on Perseus the Prince. Or, perhaps you wish to simply look toward the starry heavens tonight and enjoy!