Saturday, August 13, 2011

Perseids


Perseids

Skywatchers around the world caught stunning views of the Perseid meteor shower overnight Friday (Aug. 12) despite a bright full moon that threatened to outshine the annual "shooting star" display's peak.

The Perseid meteor shower is often the most dazzling meteor shower of the year, but a fluke of timing put the peak of this year's space rock light show in competition with the August full moon. But accounts from skywatchers suggest the Perseids did not disappoint, despite the moon's interference.
In Woking, Surrey, in England, skywatcher and photographer Carolyne Jackson waited patiently in her backyard, camera at the ready, for a break in the clouds in order spot a meteor
The Perseid meteor shower has been observed by skywatchers for at least 2,000 years, according to NASA. The meteors are actually pieces of the comet Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the sun once every 133 years. The meteor shower gets its name Perseid from its origin point in the night sky: the constellation Perseus. Perseid Meteor Shower 2011 - NASA's all-sky camera in Tullahoma, Tenn.
Every August, Earth flies through the comet's cloud of debris and the tiny bits of Swift-Tuttle (most of them more than 1,000 years old) burn up in the atmosphere as they streak at nearly 133,200 mph. According to the website Spaceweather.com, international observers reported up to 20 meteors per hour during the Perseids' peak.
"Saw 5 here in Brooklyn," New York City skywatcher Miloy Quezada wrote in a post to SPACE.com's Facebook page. "We were laying on our building's roof, my 2-yr-old couldn't figure out what his dad and I kept pointing at. At first it feels like your eyes are playing tricks on you. It was great to see God's amazing creations."
Just outside New York City, in West Orange, New Jersey, two dazzling fireballs marked the highlight of the Perseid meteor shower, as seen by this reporter.

Share/Bookmark