Carrie's Blog: It's not too late to see the Perseids meteor shower

Carrie's Blog: It's not too late to see the Perseids meteor shower
Illustration of Earth passing through the comet debris by AstroBob
Illustration of Earth passing through the comet debris by AstroBob

Hopefully, you were able to see some of the meteors last night and this morning. In case you missed it, don't fret. It's not too late to see some meteors from the Comet Swift-Tuttle debris field/comet dust also known as the Perseids meteor shower.

According the earthsky.org, "Every year, from around July 17 to August 24, our planet Earth crosses the orbital path of Comet Swift-Tuttle, the parent of the Perseid meteor shower. Debris from this comet litters the comet's orbit, but we don't really get into the thick of the comet rubble until after the first week of August. The bits and pieces from Comet Swift-Tuttle slam into the Earth's upper atmosphere at some 210,000 kilometers (130,000 miles) per hour, lighting up the nighttime with fast-moving Perseid meteors. If our planet happens to pass through an unusually dense clump of meteoroids – comet rubble – we'll see an elevated number of meteors. We can always hope!"

This year's meteor shower has been particularly vibrant because we are close to a new moon, so there's no bright moonlight to disrupt viewing. Plus, the moon is rising almost at sunrise in most locations.

"As evening deepens into late night, and the meteor shower radiant climbs higher in the sky, more and more Perseid meteors streak the nighttime. The meteors don't really start to pick up steam until after midnight, and usually don't bombard the sky most abundantly until the wee hours before dawn. You may see 50 or so meteors per hour in a dark sky."

My best advice: set your alarm for about 3:30 in the morning; brew some coffee; grab a lawn chair, and point it toward the northeastern sky. Then all you'll need to do is not fall back asleep, and enjoy the show!

"No matter where you live worldwide, the 2015 Perseid meteor shower will probably be fine on the mornings of August 11, 12, 13 and 14, with the nod going to August 13. On a dark, moonless night, you can often see 50 or more meteors per hour from northerly latitudes, and from southerly latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere, perhaps about one-third that many meteors. Fortunately, in 2015, the waning crescent moon comes up shortly before sunrise, so you're guaranteed of dark skies for this year's Perseid meteor shower. Thus, on the Perseids' peak mornings, moonlight will not obscure this year's Perseid meteors."

We would love to see your pics! Send them to pics@wlox.com or post them on my Facebook Page Carrie Duncan WLOX Meteorologist.

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