Perseids tonight

Don't forget the Perseid meteor shower is tonight

The Perseids are one of the more reliable annual meteor showers, and occur when the Earth passes through the dust tail of Comet Swift-Tuttle.



Gratuitous Perseid image from APoD

Expect rates of about one per minute, best viewing is after the moon sets at about 2 am, it is waningwaxing gibbous, unfortunately, little pastbefore full.
There are some speculations of localised peaks in the rate, the Swift-Tuttle tail is banded, it is relatively young and hasn't smoothed out well as it spreads out along the orbit.
So, may be some half-hour spikes to several per minute, roughly around midnight eastern US time. Or not. Theorists are often wrong.

Look north and a bit east, near the border with Cassiopea.
Sky & Telescope has a good guide to the radiant


This is an old NASA sky map, kinda sucky.
Curiously I don't see a 2008 Perseids on nasa.gov anywhere. Didn't look very hard though.

StarDate summary



Another gratuitous Perseid picture from APoD

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I think you mean that the moon is a little before full, not past.

FYI, I was inspired to pop over here once Sigur Ros came on the radio....

By Brad Holden (not verified) on 11 Aug 2008 #permalink

aargh. fixed
ya know - I knew that the new moon was beginning of August
and I knew the moon set early
and I still copied a "waning gibbous" from some stoopid web site without thinking or doing a sanity check
bloody theorists!

still, I can use it as a learning example in class next semester

It was damm cloudy here in the Bay Area (12-Aug, morning)!!