Monday, August 11, 2008

Tonight's Best Perseid Meteor Shower

"The time to look is during the dark hours before dawn on Tuesday, August 12th," says Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center. "There should be plenty of meteors--perhaps one or two every minute."

The best of the meteor shower is on August 12 [morning of]. After the first-quarter moon sets, around 2 a.m., meteors should be more easily visible until dawn. You may see dozens of meteors per hour.

Try to escape the city glow and find a dark, secluded spot where oncoming car headlights will not periodically ruin your sensitive night vision. Backyards are often ideal spots.

Once you have settled at your observing spot, lay back or position yourself so the horizon appears at the edge of your peripheral vision, with the stars and sky filling your field of view. Meteors will instantly grab your attention as they streak by.

Set the alarm and wake up your children to watch this natural fireworks. It may inspire a life-long interest in space and science. It's worth a few hours of lost sleep.

Lefty Blogs