Perseid Meteor Shower 2010 Includes Planetary Conjunction!
2010 should be a good year for viewing the Perseid Meteor Shower and if that isn’t enough to get you outside, there will also be a planetary conjunction to gaze upon as well!
The Perseid Meteors show up every year around this time. They are caused by Comet Swift-Tuttle. Swift-Tuttle makes it’s appearance in our solar system every 133 years and as it flies past us on it’s way around the sun, it deposits bits of dust and ice in Earth’s orbit. As Earth encounters these tiny specks of space debris, they slam into our atmosphere at nearly 140,000 miles per hour and vaporize into beautiful trails of light! Poof Gone!
If you’re lucky this year, you may see as many as 12 per hour. The best days to view the Persieds in 2010 are August 12th and 13th. You should try to stay away from bright city lights and the best time to see them is between midnight and 4:00am when North America is facing the direction of Earth’s orbit. So stay up late tonight or get up real early in the morning tomorrow to see the show.
Now if that wasn’t enough to give you the urge to head outside, we are also experiencing a conjunction of Saturn, Venus and Mars along with the crescent Moon. To see this, you don’t have to stay up late or get up real early. This show begins when the sun sets on August 12th. Look to the west after sunset. You will be able to spot Venus relatively quickly along with the crescent moon. This cozy group of planets will be visible until around 10pm when they set below the horizon. This sets the stage for some pretty prime Perseid viewing because the moon will be nowhere in sight allowing for a very dark night!
If you’re a space photographer andcapture an image of a Perseid, send it to us and we’ll publish it right here on OuterSpace Universe!