August brings one of the best night sky shows for astronomy enthusiasts: the viewing of the Perseids meteor shower. What better way to spot those bright lights in the heavens than from your hot tub?
While the meteors originate from the constellation Perseus the Hero, you certainly don’t need to know the location of the constellation to enjoy the show. In fact, there tend to be so many meteors to view (sometimes up to 50 an hour!) there will easily be plenty of opportunity to spot a few of the bright lights in the wee hours of the night.
This year, your best opportunity to see the shower is a few days leading up to August 12th. The peak time for the show will be in the wee hours—just before midnight August 12th into the early morning hours of August 13th. Perseids tends to strengthen the closer you get to the midnight hour.
2011 is a more challenging year to spot these meteors. Why? Well, this year the arrival of the peak time for Perseids viewing happens to occur the same night of the full moon. Moonlight will directly compete with spotting this annual meteor shower—but eagle eyes will certainly be able to see their fair share!
Since there are also meteor-spotting opportunities this entire week, make it a competition with a soaking partner each night this week. See who can spot the highest number of meteors between August 9th & August 13th. The prize…? Well, we’ll leave that up to you.
Happy hunting…and happy soaking!