How, When And Where To Watch Tonight’s Kick-Ass Peak Of The Perseids Meteor Shower
There's nothing better in the skies than a meteor that buzzes Earth -- they're God's purpose pitches, keeping humans humble by not letting us crowd the plate. Worried about the Deflategate scandal, or the fact that your Red Sox are in last place? Kind of seems pointless when you realize that a monster space rock could randomly hit Earth and destroy everything. I wonder what the next dominant species will be? (Bow to your penguin overlords).
But until that happens, let's just enjoy the show. The Perseids Meteor Shower -- so named because it appears to emanate from the constellation Perseus, reaches its peak tonight, and if if I'm any judge of meteor showers, tonight's should be the best of the year (50 to 100 meteors per hour at the peak). One reason is that it's also the first night of the new moon, which means the sky appears to us at its darkest. The action peaks around 4 a.m. ET on Thursday, but there should be plenty of shooting stars tonight beginning a couple of hours after sunset, no matter where you live. Here's how to watch (I mean, other than just looking up).
☛ Get as far away from city lights as you can. This app will help -- the Dark Sky Meter app, available on iTunes. It measures the darkness of the sky in your area for vest viewing. Cost: 99 cents.
☛ Live streaming options:
* NASA is offering live streaming beginning tonight at 10 p.m. (ET) and continuing through Thursday at 2 a.m. on its UStream channel and NASA TV. NASA experts will be online taking questions via Twitter. Contact @NASA_Marshall with #askNASA hashtag.
* Slooh live streaming, beginning tonight at 8 p.m. (ET).
* Here's another live UStream.
☛ Telescope HD app lets you use your cell phone camera as a telescope. I'm getting this as soon as I post this.
The Perseid shower is actually debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle, which swings by our part of the solar system every 133 years, leaving a trail of dust and gravel that we see as it disintegrates in our atmosphere. Kind of like the political career of Donald Trump.
Perseid drinking game! Beginning ... NOW.
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