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Perseid Meteor Shower 2012 Approaches, Will You Watch?

Suffolk viewers should be able to observe around 80 "shooting stars" per hour during this year's Perseid Meteor Shower on Aug. 11, 12.

According to Astronomy.com, the Perseid Meteor shower has some added bonuses this year. It will occur on a night when the moon is in its waning crescent phase, which means the moonlight won't interfere with your view of the dashing meteors, and it's on a Saturday night, which means viewers can stay up late and sleep in the next day.

You don't even need a telescope. Just spread out a blanket, maybe a late-night picnic, lay back and enjoy!  

Perseid Meteor Trivia:

  • These meteors travel 37 miles per second!
  • The best time to view will be 2 a.m. on Aug. 12.
  • The weather in Suffolk, so far, is predicted to be partly cloudy, so you should have a good view.
  • The Perseid Meteors are cast-offs of the Swift-Tuttle comet, according to Space.com.
  • The shower began on July 23 and will peak the night of Aug. 11-12. 
  • Look toward the Perseus constellation, which forms an inverted "Y" shape and is in the northeast.
  • Some of the meteoroids are as small as a grain of sand, but they have the kinetic energy of a nuclear bomb!
  • If you see a very slow, bright object sailing across the sky, it's either a satellite or a Space Station.   

Where to view:

  • You don't need a telescope to view this celestial event, so just head out to a dark spot.  
  • Away from city lights, so the further you get from town, the better your view will be. 
Derek V August 10, 2012 at 04:00 PM
They have the kinetic energy of a nuclear bomb do they? And how much kinetic energy does a nuclear bomb have ? Answer:- none unless its actually in the act of falling after being dropped out of an aircraft.
Lon Cohen August 10, 2012 at 07:28 PM
It should be clearer but I think what is implied in this post is that the kinetic energy of a meteor is the same as the energy released in a nuclear bomb explosion, not comparing the actual kinetic energy of the two - in which case you'd be right. As for that equation - is the kinectic energy of a meteor the same as a nuclear bomb, I don't know. We'll have to ask a physicist. Where's Sheldon when you need him? :)
Paul L. August 11, 2012 at 12:55 PM
I'll be watching if the skies are clear. The best light show I have ever seen was the Leonid meteor shower that occurs in November. A number of years ago, it was expected to be the most active meteor shower in years and it did not disappoint. Meteors were falling at a rate of 60-100 per MINUTE - constant activity that lasted for hours. It was spectacular.

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