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The Persied Meteor Shower

The Persied Meteor Shower

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The Perseid Meteor Shower usually peaks around August 12th and 13th. We are coming into a full moon phase today (August 5th), so the moon will be in between half and quarter; coming up late at night.

Typically, the best viewing is after Midnight away from city lights. You look to the north and northeast sky mostly, but I personally have seen some very bright meteors in other directions...twice from my vehicle...when I was looking directly towards the road from my sight line, as the meteors dropped on the eastern-southeastern skyline, while driving up towards the Bountiful and North Salt Lake Benches.

Sometimes we will get a longer lasting meteor and it will travel to the western horizon. Most of the time we will see as many as 60 per hour...but they are usually short-lived...very dim meteors, with a few brighter ones occasionally crossing the sky.

I like to take a blanket and lay it out in an open area on my lawn and look directly to the northeast. My eyes will accustom to the dark sky and, with a good pillow, I don't have to move my head to see each of the meteors. Take an MP3 player or some portable music out and enjoy a nice night under the stars. I can sometimes get a meditative feeling when I do this.

It would be best if the 12th and 13th were weekend nights, so staying up late wouldn't be as much of a problem for getting up for work in the morning. This year, the peak of the Perseid's will be on Wednesday and Thursday...sorry.

Clouds are always a consideration during the Perseid meteor shower, but it is still too early to make any predictions today. However, usually August nights become mostly clear, as summer thunderstorms wain after sunset.

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Dan Pope


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