• What light through yonder bandstand breaks?
  • Jeanna Shepard

Perseid Meteor Shower

 Who doesn’t love seeing meteors falling from the heavens at unpredictable moments on a warm summer night. The Perseid meteor shower, a summer favorite for those who enjoy astronomy, will peak on Thursday night, August 13. But don’t wait until next Thursday. What if next Thursday night is overcast?

Make yourself some hot cocoa or iced tea. Grab a handful of cookies and a blanket and head outside after 9 p.m. We use bug repellant.

Meteors can be seen from two separate meteor showers, the Perseid meteor shower and the rarely talked about Delta Aquarid meteor shower, which peaked on July 28th.

Meteors are pieces of space debris speeding through space. They can hit the Earth’s atmosphere and burn up at any time, day and night. We only see the ones that burn up at night. The two meteor showers are associated with the orbits of two separate comets. Each year at this time, the Earth plunges through or passes nearby the orbits of these comets.

Meteors that appear to come from the constellation Perseus are members of the Perseids. Likewise, meteors that appear from the constellation Aquarius and thus are named after the star in that constellation.

Ancient astronomers had no idea where these meteors came from, though their radiant was a clear signature of what appeared to be the source. Now we know better. These meteors all come from the orbit of a comet. The Perseids come from the Comet Swift Tuttle. The Delta Aquarids come from Comet 96P Machholz.


Sunrise and Sunset
Fri., August 75:457:47
Sat., August 85:467:46
Sun., August 95:477:44
Mon., August 105:487:43
Tues., August 115:497:41
Wed., August 125:507:40
Thurs., August 135:517:38
Friday, August 145:527:37

Temperatures and Precipitation
DayMax (Fº)Min (Fº)Inches
July 318572T
August 190640.00
August 286650.00
August 388680.00
August 488680.16
August 585660.02
August 685600.00

Water temperature in Edgartown harbor: 77º F.


Water temperature in Edgartown harbor: 77º F


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