Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thursday, Biggest Meteor Shower of the Year

The Carnegie Science Center is letting people know that the Perseid meteor shower is about to take place this Thursday, August 12, and will be highly visible if the weather permits.
Education Coordinator for the Buhl Planetarium Dan Malerbo says a shooting star, or a meteor, is a speck of dust that enters the earth’s atmosphere allowing people to see a streak of light in the sky. He says on the average night, we can see 3 or 4 shooting stars an hour. However, certain times of the year the earth travels through a trail of dust and debris left by a passing comet, causing a meteor shower.
Malerbo says the Perseid meteor shower is the biggest of the year because this particular path that the earth will travel through is one of the widest.
He says to see the shower at its best, go away from the city and bright lights, where the sky is dark, lay down and look northeast, towards the constellation of Perseid. As long as the “hazy” sky conditions clear up by dark, you should be able to see 50 to 60 shooting stars per hour between midnight and dawn.

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