Star gazers unite!
Starting tomorrow, August 11th, you’re gonna be able to watch one of the biggest meteor showers ever: the Perseid shower. This array of debris comes from a comet known as Swift-Tuttle which is currently moving near Earth. This is causing the giant rock to heat up and begin disintegrating by releasing dust particles in its trail which make up the display we’ll see tomorrow night. Oh, and by the way, these ‘particles’ can get as hot as 10,000 degrees.
But don’t worry. There’s no threat to our planet, as NASA says the pieces of space rock burn up around 50 miles above the Earth. See, each year this thing happens. Earth passes through the comet’s path which brings us the shower we all watch in anticipation with our binoculars and telescopes. However, this year is different. Apparently, instead of just grazing the surface of Swift-Tuttle’s trail, we’re gonna be practically entering it thanks to Jupiter’s gas. See, Jupiter’s gas is currently pushing the debris our way, making the falling pieces of rock closer to our home planet. This is causing the shower that normally occurs each year even denser than in year’s past which will create a wider field of view for those watching. Those in the Northern hemisphere will be able to see it the best, while others may not be as lucky.
If you wanna catch a glimpse of the Perseid shower this week, head outside around midnight local time on August 11th. You also may be able to see it during the evening hours on August 12th and possibly at some point during the 13th, however I wouldn’t count on that. Those of you in cities or cloudy environments will likely have problems seeing it, but if you live in a neighborhood just stand out in the street for a few minutes and you’ll probably see something eventually.
If you absolutely can’t see a darn thing where you live and have nowhere else to turn, turn to NASA, as they’ll be live streaming the entire meteor shower on their Ustream channel both evenings. Click here to check it out.
Will you be watching this year’s Perseid meteor shower?