comet swift tuttle

Perseid Meteors over Mount Shasta : Where are all of these meteors coming from? In terms of direction on the sky, the pointed answer is the constellation of Perseus. That is why the meteor shower that peaks later this week is known as the Perseids the meteors all appear to came from a radiant toward Perseus. In terms of parent body, though, the sand-sized debris that makes up the Perseids meteors come from Comet Swift-Tuttle. The comet follows a well-defined orbit around our Sun, and the part of the orbit that approaches Earth is superposed in front of the Perseus. Therefore, when Earth crosses this orbit, the radiant point of falling debris appears in Perseus. Featured here, a composite image containing over 60 meteors from last Augusts Perseids meteor shower shows many bright meteors that streaked over Mount Shasta, California, USA. This years Perseids holds promise to be the best meteor shower of the year. via NASA

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Stunning images show the biggest and best meteor shower of the year 

The Perseid meteor shower, an annual astronomical event that occurs in July and August, is widely known as one of the year’s most spectacular sights. The bright lights that shoot across the sky are a result of Earth’s romp through the debris left behind by the Comet Swift-Tuttle. The shower peaked last night and left even more incredible photos.

Just your friendly Perseid reminder!

Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks August 11-12. 

August 11.-12. EDT, that is - check your timezone. Every Perseid meteor is a piece of the comet Swift-Tuttle. When Earth crosses paths with Swift-Tuttle’s debris, specks of comet dust hit Earth’s atmosphere and burn, creating the flashes people call shooting stars. These meteors are called Perseids because they seem to fly out of the constellation Perseus. 

Obviously it’s probably going to rain where I locate, so no perseids for me (which I’m kind of glad about, as I’m not at home and don’t have my camera gear with me). If you get any photos, feel free to submit them to me! I’d be so happy to see perseids through your photos.

Photo Credit: Ruslan Merzlyakov

UNITED KINGDOM, Helmsley : A meteor passes across the sky above Rievaulx Abbey during the peak in activity of the annual Perseids meteor shower in the village of Rievaulx, near Helmsley, northern England on August 13, 2015. The Perseids meteor shower occurs every year when the Earth passes through the cloud of debris left by Comet Swift-Tuttle.  AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFF              

(NASA)  Milky Way and Exploding Meteor
Image Credit & Copyright: André van der Hoeven

On 12th August, 2015, the Perseid Meteor Shower reached its maximum. Grains of icy rock streaked across the sky as they evaporated during entry into Earth’s atmosphere. These grains were shed from Comet Swift-Tuttle. The Perseids result from the annual crossing of the Earth through Comet Swift-Tuttle’s orbit, and are typically the most active meteor shower of the year. Although it is hard to predict the level of activity in any meteor shower, in a clear dark sky an observer might see a meteor a minute. 2015′s Perseids occur just before a new Moon and so the relatively dark sky made even faint meteors visible. Meteor showers in general are best seen from a relaxing position, away from lights. Featured here is a meteor caught exploding above Austria next to the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy.

Comet Dust over Enchanted Rock : Dusty debris from periodic Comet Swift-Tuttle was swept up by planet Earth this week. Vaporized by their passage through the dense atmosphere at 59 kilometers per second, the tiny grains produced a stream of Perseid meteors. A bright, colorful Perseid meteor flash was captured during this 20 second exposure. It made its ephemeral appearance after midnight on August 12, in the moonless skies over the broad granite dome of Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, central Texas, USA. Below the Perseid meteor, trees stand in silhouette against scattered lights along the horizon and the faint Milky Way, itself cut by dark clouds of interstellar dust. via NASA

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Perseid Meteor Shower Tonight!

When to view: 12AM to dawn on 8/12 (tonight into tomorrow).

History:

This meteor shower has been viewed for at least 2,000 years. The meteors come from the comet Swift-Tuttle, which was discovered in 1862, and orbits the sun every 133 years.

When the comet gets close to the sun, the heat from it melts the ice in the comet and turns it into gas, which is what creates its long tail. The meteor shower is debris from that comet, which the Earth runs into!

Computer simulations indicate that this year, there could be an outburst, which means there’s more debris than usual, and could lead to up to 200 meteors per hour! (Note that this is a “could” and not an “it definitely will happen,” but be sure to keep an eye out anyway, if you’ve got clear skies.)

It’s most likely that the outburst will happen tonight, but don’t feel bad if you miss it - you should still be able to see some meteors tomorrow night as well, and maybe the night after that.

Also it’s a good idea to go outside about half an hour to an hour before the actual peak hits - that way, your eyes will have adjusted to the dark by then.

Attention stargazers! The Perseid meteor shower returns this week.
This is our annual encounter with the tenuous trail of debris left in solar orbit by comet 109/P Swift-Tuttle. As Earth plows through this veil of mostly small grains and dust, we can see comet fragments appear as swift light traces of Perseid meteors.
The Perseid shower is the night of August 12-13. It peaks for viewers in the eastern United States during predawn hours of Thursday August 13 and the show should be better than usual because that night the Moon is new so lunar glow won’t wash out meteor trails of lesser brightness. Although Perseids arrive in greatest numbers early on the morning of the 13th, there’ll be a gradual lead-up during the previous several days and late arrivals may be spotted for several nights after the peak.
Meteor trails from the August 12-13 shower appear to originate at a vanishing point known as the radiant in the constellation Perseus. Stars of Perseus rise above the north-northeast horizon around 9 p.m. for observers in mid-northern latitudes, and about 4 a.m.—peak time in the eastern U.S, the radiant will be two-thirds of the way between horizon and zenith toward east-northeast. To see the entire flight of a meteor it’s usually best to look near the zenith, with a slight nod toward Perseus whence these meteors radiate. If you get to a reasonably dark location, one meteor per minute might be seen as the objects are heated to incandescence at altitudes of about 50 to 75 miles.

Learn more from the Sky Reporter.

Image: Via NASA

BULGARIA, Pirdop : A long exposure image showing an aeroplane passing in the sky during the Perseids meteor shower over the remains of St. Ilia Roman early Christian basilica dated back to the 5th–6th century AD near the town of Pirdop, early on August 12, 2015. The Perseid meteor shower occurs every year in August when the Earth passes through the debris and dust of the Swift-Tuttle comet. The Perseid meteor shower – an annual display of natural fireworks – should be particularly spectacular this year, with extra-dark skies expected to create optimal stargazing conditions, astronomers said on August 7, 2015.   AFP PHOTO / NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV                        

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The Night Is Moonless and the Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks Tonight!

Skywatchers around the world are in for a dazzling display as the annual Perseid meteor shower reaches its peak on Wednesday night.
Viewing is weather-dependent, however, and cloud cover may spoil the party in many parts of the UK.
Above the clouds, conditions are unusually favourable because the shower will coincide with a new moon.
The Perseids are pieces of Comet Swift-Tuttle; each August, the Earth passes through a cloud of the comet’s debris.
Swift-Tuttle shed this material long ago, and it is now distributed as a tenuous “river of rubble” along the comet’s orbit around the Sun.
These particles of ice and dust (which range from the size of a grain of sand to around as big as a pea) hit the Earth’s atmosphere at about 60km/s (37 miles/s).
As they do so, they heat the air around them, causing the characteristic streak of light.
The meteor shower is visible across the Northern hemisphere and from as far as subtropical latitudes south of the Equator. Prime viewing hours, wherever you are, stretch from about 23:00 local time on 12 August until the morning of 13 August. Plus, in 2015, the waning crescent moon comes up shortly before sunrise, so you’re guaranteed of dark skies for this year’s Perseid meteor shower. Thus, on the Perseids’ peak mornings, moonlight will not obscure this year’s Perseid meteors.

New month, new blog from the Sky Reporter

August’s main sky event promises to be our annual encounter with the tenuous trail of debris left in solar orbit by comet 109/P Swift-Tuttle. As Earth plows through this veil of mostly small grains and dust, we can see comet fragments appear as swift light traces of Perseid meteors.

The Perseid shower is the night of August 12/13. It peaks for viewers in the eastern United States during predawn hours of Thursday August 13 and the show should be better than usual because that night the Moon is new so lunar glow won’t wash out meteor trails of lesser brightness. Although Perseids arrive in greatest numbers early on the morning of the 13th, there’ll be a gradual lead-up during the previous several days and late arrivals may be spotted for several nights after the peak.

Read on about the meteor shower, the return of Orion, and much more.

Perseid meteors to light up summer skies

The evening of Wednesday 12 August into the morning of Thursday 13 August sees the annual maximum of the Perseid meteor shower. This year, a new moon makes prospects for watching this natural firework display particularly good.

Meteors (popularly known as ‘shooting stars’) are the result of small particles, some as small as a grain of sand, entering Earth’s atmosphere at high speed. The tail of the Comet Swift-Tuttle, which last passed near Earth in 1992, leaves such debris in Earth’s path. On entering the atmosphere, these particles heat the air around them, causing the characteristic streak of light seen from the ground. This shower of meteors appears to originate from a single point, called a 'radiant’, in the constellation of Perseus, hence the name.

The shower is active each year from around 17 July to 24 August, although for most of that period only a few meteors an hour will be visible. From the UK, the peak of the shower occurs in the late evening on 12 August to the morning of 13 August, when as many as 100 meteors or more may be seen each hour. This year, for the first time since 2007, this peak coincides with a new moon on 14 August, creating ideal dark sky conditions for meteor-spotting.

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