Thursday, August 2, 2007

Perseids Meteor Shower: Potentially Brilliant Sky Show This Weekend!

The streaking fire balls from the Perseids meteor shower should be visible from Sunday Night through Monday. As many as 60 meteors and hour should appear during the peak viewing hours, sometime after 4:30am Sunday Morning.

Brandywine Creek State Park is sponsoring a star gazers event. The park will open at 4am. The gates will close again promptly at 4:30 am so that the headlights from cars will not spoil the view! If you go plan to bring a lawn chair or blanket. No telescopes or binoculars are necessary because the best way to watch a meteor shower is with your naked eye!

What might you expect to see? Some meteors appear as a momentary flash of light while others are brighter leaving a glowing streak or tail. The number of meteors zipping across the sky should increase steadily though the night, peaking just before sunrise. Meteors should still be visible for several nights thereafter.

The Perseids meteor showers are named after the Perseus constellation. The source of the shower is the comet Swift-Tuttle which is no where near the earth but the comet's tail intersects our orbit and we glide through it every August. This year there will be a new moon, which means with no interference from ambient moon light, a clear night and a dark sky away from other man made light, the Perseid Sky Show should be brilliant!

By the way, these meteors should be visible regardless of what time zone you line in so be sure to share this news with all your stargazing friends!