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Tonight’s a Good Night for Shooting Stars

August 11, 2010

Tonight is a good night to see shooting stars of the Perseid Meteor shower (pictured) because the new moon allows them to be seen.

We’re heading out away from the foggy coast and the city’s lights to some desert dark clear air to catch some shooting stars, to make some wishes, and to talk to the ancestors. My ethnic heritage includes the Native American tribes of Cherokee, Chickasaw and Choctaw. Many Native Americans saw the stars as their ancestors, looking down on them, offering them guidance in the dark.

I hope you too get a chance to do some star gazing; you will probably get to wish on some shooting stars tonight too.

The accompanying image and text comes from APOD which offers an astronomical photo a day.

Raining Perseids
Credit & Copyright: Fred Bruenjes

Explanation: Tonight is a good night to see meteors. Comet dust will rain down on planet Earth, streaking through dark skies in the annual Perseid meteor shower. While enjoying the anticipated space weather, astronomer Fred Bruenjes recorded a series of many 30 second long exposures spanning about six hours on the night of 2004 August 11/12 using a wide angle lens. Combining those frames which captured meteor flashes, he produced this dramatic view of the Perseids of summer. Although the comet dust particles are traveling parallel to each other, the resulting shower meteors clearly seem to radiate from a single point on the sky in the eponymous constellation Perseus. The radiant effect is due to perspective, as the parallel tracks appear to converge at a distance. Bruenjes notes that there are 51 Perseid meteors in the composite image, including one seen nearly head-on.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 15, 2010 6:38 pm

    I’m bummed. We’ve only seen one shooting star this week. I think Vancouver just has too much light pollution. We need to be out in the woods.

    I did really enjoy the sunsets and red moon rising during the solar explosions.

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  1. Tonight’s a Good Night for Shooting Stars (via art predator) « Blog Archive « Compassionate Rebel

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