Shooting stars – nothing quite captures the imagination and puts the universe in perspective like a meteor. It makes us dream of space travel, wonder about the mutable nature of space and time, and stare in awe at Mother Nature’s fireworks. Hopefully, tonight the sky is clear in your part of the country. Starting this evening, the Perseids, the most famous and regular meteor shower, will be at their peak for two nights.
The Perseids result when the earth passes through the orbit of the Swift-Tuttle comet. Giant debris of small rocks and ice extends out behind the Swift-Tuttle. When these small pieces of debris come in contact with the earth’s atmosphere, they begin to burn as bright streaking specs. In a good year, it’s possible to see 60 or more meteors per hour. Unfortunately, this year the peak aligns with a full moon which will drown out some of the dimmer shooting stars.
Find the picnic basket, a couple of extra blankets and let the kids forget about their bedtime for another summer evening. Even with the full moon, it’s bound to be an incredible show.
Unfortunately, the dark skies outside of Seattle will be obscured by the summer’s first rain, but for all you other stargazers out there, enjoy!
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