The Sky Is Gonna Be Lit This Weekend

The best meteor shower of the summer is here! The Perseid meteor shower will start peaking tonight into Sunday. I’m not gonna sleep for three days. You’re gonna have to get up really, really, early or stay up really, really, late to catch the best show of the summer. This is usually when I start doing overnight surf fishing trips. Sleep is overrated anyway.

The peak which is the the greatest number of meteors, will occur on the mornings of August 11, 12 and 13. The moon will be an issue for the last couple of days. Reducing the chances of seeing the less brighter meteors.

Perseid Meteor shower at the beach.
The crew at the beach fishing and watching the Perseids .. Photo by Chip Thompson … The meteor in the other image is from this one,blown up on my phone … Chip Thompson

The Perseids have been active since July 17th and they will be active for two weeks beyond the peak. The the Delta Aquariid meteor shower is still active too. You can sit out at night in August, stare at the sky and see the occasional meteor. We see them a lot when we are surf fishing at night.

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The radiant point for the Perseid meteor shower is in the constellation Perseus. You can use the star tracker apps to find it easily enough. The source of the Perseid meteors is from the earth crossing he orbital path of Comet Swift-Tuttle. The debris left behind is pulled into our gravity and become meteors (shooting stars). The comet debris is known as meteoroids. Rarely do meteors make the ground, but if they do then they are meteorites. That comet won’t pass us again until July 2126, it passed last in December 1992.

Meteors will start mid to late evening. If you are lucky, you will see an earthgrazer. When the radiant is close to the horizon. Meteors will streak through the upper atmosphere and back into space or burn up crossing through the atmosphere. They produce a very long, slow bright colorful meteor. They can light up the sky. The colors produced are the elements or minerals burning up. Like when you toss copper in a fire and it burns green.

Viewing is easy, find a nice dark place away from any light pollution. Look towards the constellation Perseus in the northeast sky. The beach is a great place to view this shower. Let your eyes get adjusted to the dark for an hour to get a better view. It can over 20 minutes just for your eyes to get used to the dark. Put down the phone, that will ruin your eyes for the show. The waning gibbous moon will be an issue the last two days of the peak.

Fish On!
Rich King

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