The Brightest and Best Meteor Shower is in your Backyard tonight!

 

One of my favorite things to do when I'm at summer camp is sitting out in the dark, star-gazing and feeling the "slightly" cooler air as the temp drops and night falls upon us. Not knowing a lot about the way the skies form, I've learned a bit about meteor showers and the stars from my science-oriented friends. Now I've come to enjoy checking out the greatest gifts the skies might show to us and pondering the massiveness of our universe. 

Tonight, grab your family and head outside to a dark place to check out the Perseid Meteor Showers. You will want this place to be as super dark and away from city lights as possible to get the best view.  Spread out your blankets or chairs, lay back, and try to find the north to northwest view for your night show! Tip- for best experience, shy away from ALL lights. Put that cell phone away, keep your vision away from the moon or the street light over yonder. Try to focus on the darkest point in the sky and this will help you spot the Perseids! Don't rush the process, as it can take 20 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the lack of light- so plan on 45 mins to an hour of viewing. If your kiddos fall asleep well viewing, all the better for you parents- have a relaxing night in the cooler air, free from some of the daily anxieties we face. 

Showing their brightness between 11:00 pm and 1:00 am (as this is the time that the sky is at its darkest- before the moon rises fully), these meteors streak across the sky visible to the naked eye. The timing is definitely not for the faint of heart unless you are a night owl, but the experience is definitely worth it! While the peak viewing time is this week, particularly tonight and tomorrow, you will still have chances for about the next 10 days- they just won't be as many shooting off. D

What are Perseid Meteors? Perseid Meteors are dust and debris from the Comet Swift-Tuttle and shoot off between 75-100 meteors at areper hour. Due to the quarter moon, we will probably only be able to see about 40-50 meteors per hour- but they are bright, so that is still a lot to check out! 

The meteors are named Perseid because their point of origin appears to be from the Perseus Constellation, named after Perseus the Hero. Greek Lore tells us that Perseus was the son of the god Zeus and the mortal DanaĆ«. The story goes that the Perseid shower commemorates the time when Zeus visited DanaĆ« in a shower of gold. 

The Comet, Swift-Tuttle, has been in existence for 133 years! Every summer, between late July and Mid August, the world has the opportunity to view this wonderful meteor shower, but the northern hemisphere has a better chance of actually seeing it due to location, sky patterns, and light availability. 

So, go check out the meteor shower tonight and tomorrow, and you might get to see your own "fire in the sky" as John Denver referenced in is Rocky Mountain High song! 

Does your family enjoy late-night excursions to watch our mysteries of the skies? Comment below or head over and drop a line on Mommy's Block Party Facebook Page!

1 comment

  1. They were talking about it on the news today but I will be asleep because we get up early. I hope you get some good photos!

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