Weather Center

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks This Week

Showers are in the forecast, but not a drop of rain will fall!

I'm talking about a the annual Perseid meteor shower which could light up the sky with several "shooting stars".  Well, it's not really shooting stars.  The earth is passing through the debris of comet "Swift-Tuttle".   The particles burn up as they enter our planet's atmosphere at speeds up to 133,000 mph.  With minimal moonlight Thursday night into Friday morning, it's possible to see 60 to 100 per hour.  That's a lot of wishes!

Local storm chaser, and Perseid "expert", Brain Emfinger of Ozark, says you can either go for quantity, quality, or both depending on how much sleep you don't need.  Because of the angle of the comet's debris entering the earth's atmosphere, there's the potential for BIG fireballs shortly after sunset until about 10:30.  You need to look towards the northeastern portion of the night sky.  While there's no guarantee you will see a fireball, if you do, it will definitely be memorable.

If it's quantity you're going for, look overhead from midnight to sunrise.  With minimal moonlight, you should see several streaking above.

Here are a few pictures Brian has taken over the past week.  Check out his fantastic photographs at

Good luck!

Brian Emfinger

An iridium satellite flare.
Brian Emfinger
Where to look


Jeff said...

Thanks for the update Tod. Really like this type of events that are made known to people, like myself, that don't know to much about space but are interested. Also find it interesting to know when certain events like when the space shuttle flies over and you can see it and eclipses.

snowenthusiast said...

awesome. I'll be looking up in the sky before the sun comes up