Thursday, August 11, 2005


Shooting stars

The Perseid meteor shower is great to see it if you take the effort to go to a place where ambient light doesn't affect the view. I was really looking forward to it this year as the kids are old enough to enjoy it but the weather in the Milano area these days makes it difficult to watch the shooting stars:

Science @ Nasa has more about what is causing behind the meteor shower and where to see it.

The source of the shower is Comet Swift-Tuttle. Although the comet is nowhere near Earth, the comet's wide tail does intersect Earth's orbit. We glide through it every year in July and August. Tiny bits of comet dust hit Earth's atmosphere traveling 132,000 mph. At that speed, even a tiny smidgen of dust makes a vivid streak of light--a meteor--when it disintegrates. The shower is most intense when Earth is in the dustiest part of the tail.

SpaceWeather has an image gallery from last year and I am sure they will put up one this year as well. It is no substitute for watching the real thing though. Leave town for a few hours and find a dark and quiet place to enjoy the beauty if you can.

No comments:

Post a Comment