Thursday, August 12, 2010

Perseid Meteor Shower

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The annual Perseid Meteor Shower is making an appearance tonight into early tomorrow morning.  Get your binoculars, telescopes and blankets ready for this amazing and totally free event hosted by the sky!  You could see a meteor every minute but during more active times it's more like 3 per minute. 
This year is the perfect one to watch this event- reports are that there is plenty to see.  The moon won't be bright enough to distract the view.  We only have to keep our fingers crossed that it's not too cloudy! 

In addition to the meteor shower, this year three planets have aligned and will be viewable in a clear sky.  Venus, Mars and Saturn will be near the moon on the western horizon.  You can look for them with this map as soon as it's dark.  You can also start searching the horizon for meteors then but it's rare.    
If you go out during the predawn hours you will be able to see Jupiter- it's the brightest thing in the sky! 
3a.m. is the recommended time for seeing the most meteors. 

Before waking up and dragging your kids out into the late night (or super early morning) get them excited by sharing some educational fun facts about meteor showers, stars and planets. You can find lots of great information at Space.com


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