• Tim Johnson

Perseid Meteor Shower

The favorite meteor shower of the year takes place next week, on Wednesday night. Get your beach chair, a blanket and a hot cup of cocoa for possibly the best show in a long time.

The conditions will be idea, if the weather cooperates. Meteor showers are when the sky fills with shooting stars. Most showers produce about a meteor every couple of minutes. The Perseid could be the best, with the possible sighting of a meteor every minute or more.

Look to the northeast sky early in the evening. You’ll be looking in the direction of the constellation Perseus, for which the shower is named. Later in the evening Perseus gets higher and the chances of seeing more meteors improves. Meteors can appear almost anywhere, and the only significant note is they will appear to radiate from Perseus. After midnight is best.

The key ingredient for making this show best is the absence of the moon. The moon will set early in the evening.

We’ve seen estimates as high as 100 meteors in an hour. That seems high, so take what ever you can see.

The shower is the remnants of an ancient comet that circles the sun called Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle. The meteors only appear to come from Perseus; astronomers know so much more now than they did centuries ago.

Sunrise and Sunset
Day Sunrise Sunset
Fri., August 6 5:40 7:53
Sat., August 7 5:41 7:52
Sun., August 8 5:42 7:51
Mon., August 9 5:43 7:50
Tues., August 10 5:44 7:48
Wed., August 11 5:45 7:47
Thurs., August 12 5:46 7:46
Fri., August 13 5:47 7:44

Temperatures and Precipitations
Day Max (Fº) Min (Fº) Inches
July 30 76 66 0.35
July 31 81 55 0.00
August 1 73 56 0.00
August 2 78 64 0.13
August 3 79 59 0.00
August 4 76 63 0.00
August 5 71 64 0.40

 

Water temperature in Edgartown harbor: 74º F

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