Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Perseid meteor showe
It's time for the annual The Perseid meteor shower. This year, it should reach its peak in the early morning of August 13. So long as the skies are clear on the night of the 12th, the chances of a spectacular display are quite high. Astronomers estimate that 60 or more meteors could be visible each hour following sunset on the 12th.
If you are patient, you will probably see some the next 2 evenings, as the Earth's orbit has already entered the outer debris field of the comet.
The Perseid meteor shower is the result of the comet Swift-Tuttle, which passes relatively close to Earth every 133-135 years. In fact, there's some speculation that the comet could ultimately strike our planet in the distant future (we're talking the year 4479 here...). For now, however, our orbit is merely passing through junk that the comet left when passing by our solar system long ago.