Days 57 & 58: Meteor Shower Walks!

Days 57 and 58 of the Papa’s Walk Challenge.  

The Perseid Meteor shower peaked last night and the night before on Monday, August 12th and Tuesday, August 13th.  I took night walks to see if I could spot some meteors.

Light pollution may have been a factor in preventing any sightings on Monday night. meteorite_NASA

So, on Tuesday night, I decided to walk later, at 10:30 PM, when the sky was darker and there was less artificial light to mask the stars and meteor shower.  My husband and I were delighted to see the Big Dipper directly ahead of us in the night sky for a long portion of our walk. We used the Big Dipper to find the Little Dipper and Polaris (the North Star), although it was very dim. Learn more about them and how to find them at EarthSky.org.

We were expressing our frustration with the light pollution (much of it from the bright crescent moon) when suddenly, there was a streak of white light in the sky. It came and went in an instant, but it was definitely a “shooting star.”  (Meteors are often referred to as “shooting stars,” but they are not really stars. Meteors are little chunks of debris that disintegrate when they enter Earth’s atmosphere leaving a trail of light.)

The Perseid Meteor shower produces more meteors and fireballs than any other meteor shower.  NASA reports, “The Perseid meteor shower is caused by the debris stream of parent comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle” CLICK HERE to watch an informative 3-minute video about the Perseids.

We only saw that one meteor, but we didn’t hesitate to make a wish upon that shooting star.

Don’t miss these meteor shower peaks coming up in 2013:

  • October 20-21: Orionids
  • November 17-18: Leonids
  • December 13-14: Geminids

 

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