2011 Perseid Meteor Shower: Viewing Not So Good!

Perseid Meteors

The 2011 Perseid Meteor Shower is expected to peak during the early morning hours of August 12th and August 13th.  Unfortunately, the full moon is going to be competing for your attention – making meteor viewing not so good!

The Perseid Meteor Shower is caused by the Earth moving through the debris path left from the comet Swift-Tuttle.  The source of the meteors appears to be the constellation Perseus – which is why this meteor shower is referred to as the Perseids.  This is one of the most active meteor events of the year, but unfortunately, the full moon will steal the show!

The bright full moon will overpower some of the dimmer Perseids – you won’t be able to see them from because of the moon’s glare.  Don’t despair!  You should still be able to see the brightest fireballs which will make for great viewing indeed.

The Perseids are visible throughout the night from 10pm until sunrise, but remember that the best time to view them is when the Earth is facing into the debris field – which are the hours just before dawn.

If the Perseids aren’t enough of a reason to get up before dawn, check this out.  The International Space Station will also be making a series of early morning flybys in North America.  How cool would it be to see the ISS pass by overhead while viewing a meteor shower?  You can check out the times of the ISS flybys at the Satellite Flybys site.

If you get some pictures, send them in!  Enjoy the show this weekend!

Image Credit:  NASA

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