Astronomy, mostly stargazing, is fascinating to me. I think my neighbors think I’m a little odd looking up at the sky while I take out the trash or get the mail. And usually, I don’t share this interest, but I’m starting through Twitter and yesterday with my son. And today with you. I’m not sure why I’m hesitant about sharing some of my interest. I guess it has something to do with my anxiety issues. Anyway, August is an especially fun month for stargazing because of something called the Perseid Meteor Shower. I’ve never experienced one of these, so I’ve been reading up to appreciate the yearly limited time event.
The Perseid Meteor Shower is mostly visible in the northern hemisphere of the world. I wasn’t able to find much information on viewing the shower in the southern hemisphere. And a meteor will look like a shooting star. You need to look toward the constellation Perseus to spot one. Perseus is considered the radiant, or “apparent source of the meteors”. So you need to look at the northeast sky. Although the shower is visible towards the end of July and most of August, you can see the most meteors after midnight August 12-13. There’s a good site called Meteor Watch that has a post on how to best watch these amazing phenomena (http://www.meteorwatch.org/meteor-info/perseid-meteor-shower/). EarthSky also has a good post on the shower (http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/everything-you-need-to-know-perseid-meteor-shower).
I’ve seen many photos around the web of meteor showers. And it looks like a big challenge to capture one of these showers. I may give it a try or maybe you can do it. But I think, for this shower, I’ll be happy just seeing a “shooting star” and sharing the anticipation and experience with my family and you!
I also found this nifty little guide, on Pinterest.com, on other annual meteor showers:
“For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.”
-Vincent Van Gogh