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Meteor Shower Tonight!

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  • Meteor Shower Tonight!

    Got a calendar? Circle this date: Friday, August 12th. Next to the circle write "before sunrise" and "Meteors!" Attach all of the above to your refrigerator in plain view so you won't miss the 2005 Perseid meteor shower.

    The Perseids come every year, beginning in late July and stretching into August. Sky watchers outdoors at the right time can see colorful fireballs, occasional outbursts and, almost always, long hours of gracefully streaking meteors. Among the many nights of the shower, there is always one night that is best. This year: August 12th.



    Above: A colorful Perseid streaks over Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. Photo credit: Dirk Obudzinski, August 12, 2004.

    The source of the shower is Comet Swift-Tuttle. Although the comet is nowhere near Earth, the comet's wide tail does intersect Earth's orbit. We glide through it every year in July and August. Tiny bits of comet dust hit Earth's atmosphere traveling 132,000 mph. At that speed, even a tiny smidgen of dust makes a vivid streak of light--a meteor--when it disintegrates. The shower is most intense when Earth is in the dustiest part of the tail.

    Perseid meteors fly out of the constellation Perseus, hence their name. The best time to watch is during the hours before sunrise when Perseus is high in the sky: sky map. Between 2 a.m. and dawn on August 12th, if you get away from city lights, you could see hundreds of meteors. Scouts, this is a good time to go camping!



    Above: A Perseid sky map. The red dot denotes the shower's radiant, a point in the eastern sky from which meteors appear to stream. [More]

    Really, it could hardly be better. The Perseids come on a warm summer night. (Note: This is a northern hemisphere shower.) Other familiar meteor showers like the Leonids of November require a parka to enjoy. All you need for Perseids are light pajamas.

    And there's a bonus: Mars.

    In the constellation Aries, right beside Perseus, Mars is shining like a bright red star. Step outside before sunrise, look east, and you'll find you have a hard time taking your eyes off Mars. There's something bewitching about it, maybe the red color or perhaps the fact that it doesn't twinkle like a true star. It's steady. You stare at Mars and it stares right back.

    Earth and Mars are converging for a close encounter on October 30th. Consider August 12th a preview. Mars already outshines every star in the night sky, and it's getting brighter every night. If you like August, you'll love October.

    And you will like August. Picture this: It's four in the morning. The sky is dark. The breeze is pleasant. Mars is beaming down from the east while meteors flit across the sky.

    Maybe you should go circle the calendar again.
    Official Lounge Sponsor of:
    Brett Hull & St. Patricks Day


  • #2
    I might just have to go outside and watch.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by GloveSaveandaBeauty@Aug 11 2005, 07:54 PM
      I might just have to go outside and watch.
      Should be good, Glovey. Are you pretty far away from other lights?
      Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law ~

      A.C.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by bombay+Aug 11 2005, 08:55 PM-->
        QUOTE(bombay @ Aug 11 2005, 08:55 PM)

      • #5
        Originally posted by GloveSaveandaBeauty+Aug 11 2005, 07:57 PM-->
        QUOTE(GloveSaveandaBeauty @ Aug 11 2005, 07:57 PM)
        Originally posted by [email protected] 11 2005, 08:55 PM

      • #6
        Originally posted by bombay+Aug 11 2005, 08:59 PM-->
        QUOTE(bombay @ Aug 11 2005, 08:59 PM)
        Originally posted by [email protected] 11 2005, 07:57 PM
        Originally posted by [email protected] 11 2005, 08:55 PM

      • #7


        Moon

        Comment


        • #8
          There're a lot worse towns than Altamont in Central Illinois, Glovey. I always thought it was sort of hip, for what it was. You'll enjoy Champaign, at any rate.
          Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law ~

          A.C.

          Comment


          • #9
            Originally posted by Moon Man@Aug 11 2005, 09:09 PM


            Moon



            Bastard's married to Lisa Rinna...can't make too much fun of a guy married to a girl with lips that rival the Hoover Dam in size...
            " Look, forget the myths the media's created about the White House--the truth is, these are not very bright guys, and things got out of hand."

            Comment


            • #10
              I have boys in Altamont and Champaign. Glovey's gonna get an ass kicking.

              :( :P (B) Peace.
              If you believe in something sacrifice a hobo to it or don't bother.

              Comment


              • #11
                Originally posted by bombay@Aug 11 2005, 09:28 PM
                There're a lot worse towns than Altamont in Central Illinois, Glovey. I always thought it was sort of hip, for what it was. You'll enjoy Champaign, at any rate.
                I can think of maybe 5 towns worse than Altamont: Edgewood, St. Elmo, Beecher City, Mason and Brownstown.

                Comment


                • #12
                  I was staying in very western Nebraska once during the Perseid meteor shower. It was un-freakin'-believable.

                  You could see about 50 times more stars than you normally see out here in St. Chuck County and the shower itself was awesome. I highly recommend it.

                  Comment


                  • #13
                    Glovey! Go outside.
                    Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law ~

                    A.C.

                    Comment


                    • #14
                      Originally posted by bombay@Aug 11 2005, 11:39 PM
                      Glovey! Go outside.
                      Cloudier than shit.

                      Comment


                      • #15
                        Originally posted by GloveSaveandaBeauty+Aug 11 2005, 11:46 PM-->
                        QUOTE(GloveSaveandaBeauty @ Aug 11 2005, 11:46 PM)
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