I didn’t make a typo (for once) but am referring to the MeteorWatch project that is being held tonight through Saturday in conjunction with the Perseid meteor shower. Obviously, they want you to go out and watch the Perseid meteor shower which peaks Thursday night/Friday morning. They also want you to put your observations on Twitter using the #meteorwatch hash tag. Include your zip and your observations show up on a world map. Full instructions are on the Meteorwatch web site.
Although the Perseids peak the night of the 12th/13th, the debris stream that leads to this meteor shower is fairly broad leading to a good number of meteor a few days before and after. The best time to observe is after midnight…generally the later the better (up to the point when morning twilight begins). The Moon was new on August 10th and sets shortly after the Sun, so you don’t compete with moonlight.
The best way to observe meteors is to get to a dark site, away from city lights as much as possible, lay back and look up to the northeast. Technically, you should look toward Perseus, but if you don’t know how to find it, northeast is close enough. Scan the sky as meteors can pop up anywhere. Some will be bright, others dim. If you are lucky, you get a fireball. If you are really lucky, you might get one that leaves a smoke trail!
I will be trying some photography of the shower. Got a new timer remote for my camera so I am hoping for some clear skies.
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