Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Look to the Skies this August! It's Raining Meteors! #Perseid #Meteor #Shower

August doesn't just mark the end of another summer in our house.  It also marks a fun camping trip to see the sky light up with "falling stars".

Every August, the 11/12th this year, the comet, "Swift-Tuttle" moves through the constellation Perseus in the North-West sky.  The space trash that comes from the comet falls into our atmosphere burning up causing the Perseid Meteor Showers.

Last year was not a great year for viewing them since it was a full moon but this year, it will be a waxing crescent moon with only some interference. 

I recommend going to the mountains or the desert for the best viewing.  There should be no city lights to interfere with your view.  We went to Joshua Tree two years ago and although it was pretty warm during the day, we had a nice hike to Skull Rock and then enjoyed the show that night.  Red Rock Canyon, Anza Borrego National ParkKennedy Meadows and Yosemite are also great places to see it!

 How many shooting stars should you expect to see? During peak time(after midnight to the predawn hours) you might see up to 60 shooting stars.

One of the things I love about this show is that each shooting star shows a bright color spanning the spectrum.  I have see bright blues, purples, reds and more! It is like having a firework show a month after the 4th. 

Did you know that even though they look very large in the sky,  many of them are only the size of a grain of sand! They travel up to 71 kilometers/sec!

You really only need a comfortable chair or blanket with maybe a cup of coffee and a pillow!  You do not need to watch with binoculars or a telescope but you can bring them to see the fainter stars.  If you are planning on making it a camping trip, pack as you would normally with plenty of water since it gets hot in August!

If you want to get a picture of the show, it is recommended that you use a tripod with a remote trigger with an open shutter that stays open for a minute or more. 

I would love for you to share your pictures with all of us on my Facebook page

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