Attempting to fathom everything in the universe (mecurious) wrote,
Attempting to fathom everything in the universe

An Excellent Year for the Perseid Meteor Shower

Wed. night, August 11th is the peak of the annual Perseid meteor shower. It is a family tradition to go out with my daughters (and occasionally my wife) to snack on muchies while staring up at the wonderous light show. I recommend driving some miles away from city (and airport beacon) lights. Take a lawn chair/lounger. It may get cooler than you think in the overnight hours so take sweatshirts, etc. If you dress in layers you can always shed/layer to be confortable.

Full Sky and Telescope article
Here's hoping for clear skies!
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I am going to try to go to a park to watch. There will be a rangers program and hopefully a night picnic
That sounds like a great plan!
Ooh, I love watching meteor showers. I remember a real beaut back in Calgary, Alberta on November 18, 2001. Our entire congregation - armed with hot chocolate and blankets - planned to meet up in an abandoned field in the backcountry at 2:30 a.m. It was so dark (no lights from the city) and the Rockies were looming behind us in the background...and then it started. We watched the greatest show on earth. Lovely! :)
Anytime after midnight is supposed to be best (in general) but the actual PEAK of the shower (when the earth is hurtling through the very center of the band of "sand") is hard to predict with precision. If the shower peak coincides with the Midnight to morning twilight timeframe, then it would be ideal!

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Yes, we try to catch the Leonids too but November is much if-ier weatherwise in Nebraska. Could be in the 60s or could be in the 20s. Brrrrrrrrr. Still, the kids seem to enjoy the "adventure" as we bundle up in sleeping bags on our lawn chairs. One year I even got them those funky knit ski masks with only holes for your mouth and eyes. LOL Worked, though!
I remember a few years back when it was written that this particular meteor shower was at it's 500 year peak or something. My fam and a couple other fams from my Hall drove uphill to a high school football field in the mountains. We sat on the bleachers and had a perfect unobstructed view of the easter sky. I think during peak that night (2:00am here in CA) we were seeing betweeen 2-4 *a second.*

Ever notice how each time you see one your heart skips a beat? To think of all the planning and timing that went inot getting this set up for *us.* Makes you appreciate Ps. 147:5 a little more, huh?
Full list of the major showers for 2004 here:

The most important thing to look for is the moon. Moonlight can wash out all but the brightest meteors. If a shower peaks and the moon is new (or will set before midnight) that is ideal.
"snack on muchies" ?
What is that? LOL
Oh well, you know what I meant.