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2012 Perseid Meteor Shower and perhaps an added bonus

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posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 03:09 PM
I suspect that many ATS members are well aware of the impending Perseid Meteor shower we should be witnessing this weekend...

On the nights of Aug. 11th through 13th, the best meteor shower of the year will fill pre-dawn skies with hundreds of shooting stars. And that's just for starters. The brightest planets in the solar system are lining up right in the middle of the display.

The Perseid meteor shower peaks on the nights around August 12th as Earth passes through a stream of debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle.

"We expect to see meteor rates as high as a hundred per hour," says Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. "The Perseids always put on a good show."

Perseids can be seen any time after 10 to 11 pm. The best time to look, however, is during the dark hours immediately before dawn.

I have to confess to jealousy for those of you will see it... my local forecast calls fro dense cloud cover (among other annoyances) ... but there is some more "bonus" stuff going on up there worth a look for the amateur astronomer in all of us....

This year's display is extra-special because of the planets. Jupiter, Venus, and the crescent Moon are gathering together just as the Perseid meteor shower reaches its peak. The alignment occurs in the eastern sky before sunrise on the three mornings of highest meteor activity.

On August 11th, a 33% crescent Moon will glide by Jupiter, temporarily forming a bright pair directly above brilliant Venus. Red-giant star Aldebaran will be there, too, adding a splash of color to the gathering.

August 12th, the narrowing 24% crescent Moon will drop down between Jupiter and Venus. Together they make a bright 3-point line in the sky, frequently bisected by shooting stars.

On August 13th, with the shower just beginning to wane, the planets put on their best show yet: The 17% crescent moon will pass less than 3 degrees from Venus as Jupiter hovers overhead. Sky watchers say there's nothing prettier than a close encounter between the slender crescent Moon and Venus--nothing, that is, except for the crescent Moon, Venus and a flurry of Perseids.

But wait... there's more!

In a recent article another 'something you may be interested in may be seen....

Noctilucent clouds or “NLCs”

Anyone who's ever seen a noctilucent cloud or “NLC” would agree: They look alien. The electric-blue ripples and pale tendrils of NLCs reaching across the night sky resemble something from another world.

Researchers say that's not far off. A key ingredient for the mysterious clouds comes from outer space.

"We've detected bits of 'meteor smoke' imbedded in noctilucent clouds," reports James Russell of Hampton University, principal investigator of NASA's AIM mission to study the phenomenon. "This discovery supports the theory that meteor dust is the nucleating agent around which NLCs form."

It turns out that as meteors break up, the dust they trail behind them may be a significant precursor to NLCs, which some have seen and been quite confused about. Clouds that high reflect sunlight even though on the ground it's dark... and if the theory is correct the dusty smoke may serve as the 'sticky core' for the accumulation of luminescent (glowing) particles.

The inner solar system is littered with meteoroids of all shapes and sizes--from asteroid-sized chunks of rock to microscopic specks of dust. Every day Earth scoops up tons of the material, mostly the small stuff. When meteoroids hit our atmosphere and burn up, they leave behind a haze of tiny particles suspended 70 km to 100 km above Earth's surface.

It's no coincidence that NLCs form 83 km high, squarely inside the meteor smoke zone.

Specks of meteor smoke act as gathering points where water molecules can assemble themselves into ice crystals. The process is called "nucleation."

Nucleation happens all the time in the lower atmosphere. In ordinary clouds, airborne specks of dust and even living microbes can serve as nucleation sites. Tiny ice crystals, drops of water, and snowflakes grow around these particles, falling to Earth if and when they become heavy enough.

Nucleating agents are especially important in the ethereal realm of NLCs. The clouds form at the edge of space where the air pressure is little more than vacuum. The odds of two water molecules meeting is slim, and of sticking together slimmer still.

Meteor smoke helps beat the odds. .....

Meteor smoke explains much about NLCs, but a key mystery remains: Why are the clouds brightening and spreading?

Short possible answer: Methane in the atmosphere....

Sources: and;NLC”

posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 03:27 PM
S&F Great Info

I to might be out of luck, as the forecast has called for rain and thunderstorms all weekend.

These meteor showers couldnt possibly effect the weather and give us a clear view ?

Hope to see some images posted from our skywatchers.

Short possible answer: Methane in the atmosphere....

No one light a match, no blue angels plzz
edit on 10-8-2012 by MDDoxs because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 03:27 PM
Wow great stuff! At the risk of sounding naive, will I be able to see this on the south east coast of England?

posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 03:30 PM
For me that is absolutly perfect.

At 02:00 to 03:00 the moon is rising above the building just outside my bedroom window, an hour or so later Venus and Jupiter is showing up

The whole week has been nice, to lay in bed and watching the planets and moon show up, and now i get a meteor shower ontop

Sometime i love my insomnia

posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 03:38 PM

Originally posted by TechUnique
Wow great stuff! At the risk of sounding naive, will I be able to see this on the south east coast of England?

Looks quite possible....

If it is clear on the early mornings of the 11th to 14th of August, one has a chance of seeing the meteors in the Perseid Meteor Shower - the year's most dependable shower. Happily, this year, the peak of the shower on the morning of the 13th is only 4 days before New Moon so it should not hinder our view. Look up towards the North-East from 11 pm onwards on the nights of August 11th, 12th and 13th and 14th. The peak of activity - when you might expect to see 20-30 meters an hour is predicted to be between 00:30 and 03:00 BST on the morning of the 13th. This is the best time to observe on the other nights too as Perseus is rising in the sky and the Earth is facing the meteor stream. Most meteors are seen when looking about 50 degrees away from the "radiant" (the point from which the meteors appear to radiate from) which lies between Perseus and Cassiopea. (See the star chart below) The Perseid meteors are particles, usually smaller than a grain of sand, released as the comet Swift-Tuttle passes the Sun.

The shower in quite long lived, so it is worth looking out any night from the 10th to the 15th of August. Good hunting!

posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 03:43 PM
Seems they have started already
Just had a call from a friend who saw a few last night
We are going up onto the Moors tonight to gaze at the heavens

posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 03:49 PM
This meteor shower brings back alot of memories for me. 17 years ago, I met this girl. We liked each other. Each time we went out (almost every night) we saw shooting stars. I convinced her that is wa a sign that we were meant to be together. I knew that the meteor shower happens every year at this time, but she didn't. The best part? It worked!! We have been married almost 17 years and have 2 children. It has been a good life so far. I think I will ask her to go sit outside and stargaze with me tonight....

posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 03:54 PM
Excellent, I will be on nightshirt and get a great show. I really enjoy astronomical events to brighten up work.

Has anyone noticed the triangle being formed by Mars Saturn and Seca of late?

Also I believe Orion will be present in this show. Orion is coming with Jupiter and Venus for the last month or so.

posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 04:06 PM
reply to post by Maxmars

SnF for the amazing op. I knew about the meteor shower, but didn't realize the moon , venus and jupiter were going to be aligned, not to mention the potential for noctiluscent clouds. This will be a wekend star gazers wet dream.

Hopefully I won't miss it due to inclement weather.

posted on Aug, 11 2012 @ 07:13 AM
10/08/2012 - Around Midnight UK time down in the Valley where I live saw a blazing streak of light cross the sky
Then we went to high point where you could see for miles and miles around 360 degrees.
Unfortunately the whole sky was veiled with cloud by then so saw no more

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