Get outside and stay awake this Thursday night, August 12th for what is said to be quite the spectacle of fireballs in the sky, the Perseid meteor shower! Apparently the moon is gonna be M.I.A. so there won't be a lunar glare hindering our view.
The perseid meteor shower is caused by debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle. So basically, Swift-Tuttle left a trail of dust and gravel behind after sailing through the inner solar system and when that debris hits the Earth's atmosphere it immediately disintegrates into diamond sparkles in the sky. The sparkles (or meteors if you wanna get technical) are called Perseids because they fly out of the constellation Perseus. We Earthlings are set to pass through the heart of the debris trail early Friday morning.
Check out the Fluxtimator, a Java application on NASA’s website that claims to allow you to calculate the expected shower rate for a given date and a location. Using that application, I found that the the most meteors per hour are expected to occur at 4:50 a.m. Friday for New York City. Expect to see no less than 7 fireballs an hour.
So find a roof, a field or a trampoline (i wish) to lay on and get ready to make a million wishes! Dreamy!
photo credits: wired.com