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Monday, 11 August 2008

Perseid Meteor Shower Tonight

We look forward to this celestial event every year. The Persied meteor shower occurs approximately the second week of August every year. It is a great night to grab a blanket, lay back on the grass and just let your eyes and soul drink in the night sky with the abundance of meteors streaking through it. We may get an extra bonus this year because there is fairly strong solar activity as well, so we may get strong Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, at the same time.

The moon will be a bit bright early in the evening when the meteor shower starts, so it may wash out some of the less bright meteors, but this is when you can get some really major streaks as well, as the "Earth Grazers" skim across the top of our atmosphere like my kids skip stones across the water.

Later tonight, after the moon sets about 2:00 am, the sky should get really busy with about 60 meteors per hour. The show will be great right up til the dark hours just before dawn if you are an early riser.

The Perseid meteor shower seems to streak our of the constellation Perseus in the north-east sky, hence it's name. The actual source of the Perseid meteor shower is the comet Swift-Tuttle. This comet is currently located out near Uranus but every August we pass through it's tail. The meteors that hit our atmosphere are actually very small, most not really any bigger than a speck of dust, but they are hitting our atmosphere at 132,000 mph/212,000 km/hr, so they have a lot of energy and even these tiny specks can make quite a show as they burn up and disintegrate in our upper atmosphere.

For those of you not here I hope you find your own space to set out your blanket and enjoy the celestial party with us tonight.

Have a Great Night!
Al Errington
Errington's Wilderness Island Resort
Ontario Canada
www.WildernessIsland.com

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