Perseid Meteor Shower: 11-12 August

Tonight and tomorrow night, dear reader, weather permitting, you can witness what ought to be a grand show. It’s described at the NASA website: Look Up! Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks Aug. 11-12.

Their article is a week old, but this is the time to discuss it. NASA says, with bold font added by us:

The Perseids show up every year in August when Earth ventures through trails of debris left behind by an ancient comet. This year, Earth may be in for a closer encounter than usual with the comet trails that result in meteor shower, setting the stage for a spectacular display.

Closer than usual? Egad! We’re told:

“Forecasters are predicting a Perseid outburst this year with double normal rates on the night of Aug. 11-12,” said Bill Cooke with NASA’s Meteoroid Environments Office in Huntsville, Alabama. “Under perfect conditions, rates could soar to 200 meteors per hour.”

A Perseid outburst? Let’s read on:

An outburst is a meteor shower with more meteors than usual. The last Perseid outburst occurred in 2009.

We’re looking forward to it. NASA continues:

Every Perseid meteor is a tiny piece of the comet Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the sun every 133 years. Each swing through the inner solar system can leave trillions of small particles in its wake. When Earth crosses paths with Swift-Tuttle’s debris, specks of comet-stuff hit Earth’s atmosphere and disintegrate in flashes of light. These meteors are called Perseids because they seem to fly out of the constellation Perseus.

We made a quick search, but didn’t learn what the ancients thought of the Perseids. Here’s more:

The best way to see the Perseids is to go outside between midnight and dawn on the morning of Aug. 12. Allow about 45 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark. Lie on your back and look straight up. Increased activity may also be seen on Aug. 12-13.

NASA says a bit more; you can click over there for the rest. But wait — we found a video by Rev. David Rives at WorldNetDaily (WND). You can see it here: Don’t miss one of God’s greatest celestial spectacles. The rev doesn’t have much to say, except to reassure his drooling fans that a “falling star” isn’t an actual star, and he doesn’t mention the bible at all. His video is only 90 seconds long — before the commercial. We know you’re going to look at it anyway.

Okay, don’t forget — go outside tonight and tomorrow night to enjoy the show!

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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6 responses to “Perseid Meteor Shower: 11-12 August

  1. First meteorite just spotted here (Southern England), despite some intermittent cloud cover.

    My intuition tells me that, the only time I ever see small projectiles hurtling through the sky, it is because someone has thrown it; ergo, some huge supernatural being is currently pelting the sky with flaming rocks at the moment. And you can’t argue with intuition, can you?

  2. Unfortunately a waxing gibbous moon will interfere, the night sky won’t be totally dark until after 1 AM or later after the moon sets local time.

  3. Aaaarrrrggghhhh! Totally socked in with cloud now, so the Sky Daddy can’t throw his flaming rocks anymore 😦

  4. I always take the dogs outside around 1:00 in the morning so they can relieve themselves. It’s something I started a few years ago when one of my dogs, no longer with us, was old and couldn’t sleep through the night without, well, you know. Aaaargh is getting old now, and he appreciates it. I’ll look for the Perseids then.

  5. No meteors for me – I’ve read Day of the Triffids!

  6. I was out under clear skies from 11:30 to 12:15 EDT in Indiana and saw 6 meteors, but only two were reasonably bright. One was not a Perseid — wrong direction. Going out now (12:50) to see if the rate has picked up.