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Matt's World Of Weather: Meteor Shower This Weekend!

The Perseides
Clear skies will fill in with clouds today, but the forecast is "looking up" for clear skies this evening. Meteor enthusiasts have forecasted possibly seeing 1 to 2 meteors a minute with the Perseides meteor shower peaking at dawn earlier this morning.

The Perseides are named based on the apparent origin of the meteors from the constellation Perseus. The Medusa slaying Perseus will rise in the northeast after midnight and, unfortunately, come with his friend, the moon, for the next couple of nights. While a new moon would be ideal for any meteor shower, a waning crescent (33% Visible) isn’t nearly as bad as a full moon washout. Historically, this is the most active meteor shower of the year and thankfully it comes when nighttime temperatures are still in the 70s. Just don’t forget the bug spray!

Posted above is a graphic depicting Sunday’s “MeteorCast”. The best time to view the shower is about 1 hour after sunset (8:01pm) and 30 minutes before moonrise (12:25am). While the true peak will be Saturday night into Sunday morning, meteors are often spotted in nights following the shower’s pinnacle. Give yourself about 10 minutes in the darkness to let your eyes adjust and look up above the eastern horizon.

But Wait, There’s More!
*Saturn and Mars will be in southwest sky at 9pm (be sure to wave to Curiosity)

*Jupiter, Venus and the moon will be up for early risers at 5am. If you see two bright objects, Jupiter is the closest to the moon.

And What If It’s Still Cloudy?
Easily one of the coolest links I've found when there is a meteor shower, http://www.spaceweatherradio.com/ . Forget about adjusting your eyes, if anything, you’ll need to adjust your ears/speakers. During meteor showers this website actually broadcasts the sound a meteor makes as it is flying through our upper atmosphere. This is one alternative to enjoying the shower even if there is cloud cover. The other alternative is to jump over to NASA.gov. NASA will cover the event from 11pm to 3am. They will be answering questions, providing live feeds and further insight into the meteor shower.

Enjoy!


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