Sunday, August 11, 2013

Perseids, Perseids and more Perseids

For the past three weeks, Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday has had stories and videos about the Perseids.  Here they are, in chronological order, beginning with the stories from Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (the cost of Arctic thawing).

Science at NASA: ScienceCasts: Perseid Fireballs

New research from NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office identifies the Perseids as the "fireball champion" of annual meteor showers. This year's Perseid display peaks on August 12th and 13th. via Yahoo! News: Summer Streakers: The Summer Meteor Showers of 2013
by Joe Rao, Skywatching Columnist
Get ready to start looking up this summer.

For Northern Hemisphere observers, the latter half of July on into August is usually regarded as "meteor viewing season," with one of the best displays of the year reaching its peak in mid-August.

The annual Perseid meteor shower is beloved by everyone from meteor enthusiasts to summer campers, and 2013 will be an excellent one for the Perseids. The moon will set before midnight on the peak nights of Aug. 11 and 12, meaning dark skies for prospective observers.
In the next week's Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (One year of Curiosity on Mars), I included these videos.

JPL News: What's up August 2013: Perseids and a Comet ISON Update Planets, Perseids, And Nebulas Light Up The Sky In August | Video

Saturn, Venus, Mars, Mercury and Jupiter will all be visible in the August night skies, as will the annual Perseid meteors. A number of nebulas will also be easy to find among the constellations.
Finally, tonight's edition will contain this from NPR: Look For Shooting Stars During This Weekend's Perseid Peak
by Scott Neuman
August 09, 201312:20 PM
Time to stretch out the lawn chairs, lie back and enjoy the once-a-year celestial show known as the Perseid meteor shower.

The Perseids, the dusty debris of Comet Swift-Tuttle, whisk through our upper atmosphere every August. They aren't the only meteor shower on the calendar, but "the Perseids are the good ones," says meteorite expert Bill Cooke of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

The shower appears to emanate from the constellation Perseus, which is relatively easy to find in the northeast after dark, just below the familiar "lazy 'W' " that is Cassiopeia.
Happy viewing!


  1. Narb got up really early this morning (around 11 AM) to watch the Perseid's, but didn't see a single one.


    1. Sorry to read that, but if you did that within a major metropolitan area with light pollution to match, you probably wouldn't see any but the brightest. That's why I don't do much stargazing any more. Over the past seven years, I've moved from the country to the city, while stopping at the edge of development in between. It's much more sustainable in terms of energy, but I miss my stars.