|Our night skies will be putting on a show this week!|
This Nature Nerd Wednesday, I'm getting excited for the annual Perseid meteor shower, which is peaking now in the skies overhead, as Earth passes through the trail of dust left behind in the orbit of Comet Swift-Tuttle. These tiny grains of dust rain down through the atmosphere as meteors, briefly streaking the night sky with thin white trails of light. Occasionally you'll catch a glimpse of a spectacular slow-moving "earthgrazer" meteor trailing a long orange flame that burns out into a smoky tail.
Tonight is supposed to be the very best night to catch the 2015 Perseids, although the meteors are expected to be visible each night from August 12th -14th, with the most favorable viewing conditions occurring after midnight into early morning. We've had some hazy/partly cloudy skies in the western Washington lowlands lately, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for clear skies the next couple nights. So make plans to find a dark spot with a wide-open view of the sky, set up some lawn chairs or a blanket, and enjoy the show! You might have to say up later than you'd prefer... but just plan on chugging a few extra cups of coffee the next day, because it is worth it to stay up for this spectacular sight!
For Nature Nerd Wednesday, escape to the marvelous night skies over Joshua Tree National Park with this breathtaking timelapse film of the 2013 Perseid meteor shower:
Aren't you even more excited now to see this phenomenon in person? For more information on this year's Perseid meteor shower, take a look at this article from EarthSky: Everything you need to know: Perseid meteor shower
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