I’ve been working on meteor content for the planetarium, so I’ve completely missed posting about Mars and the Curiosity landing tonight, but you’re probably getting that news elsewhere (I hope.)
Anyway, August is a great time to view meteors for the northern hemisphere. The Perseid Meteor Shower peaks in the wee hours of the morning on August 12th this year, and the moon will be a waning crescent–that means it won’t get in the way of viewing meteors! At peak, under favorable conditions (clear, dark skies), you may expect to see 50 meteors an hour.
For meteor fun with kids, I’ve attached a PDF Activity Page about meteors which includes a coloring page, a word search, and instructions on hunting micrometeorites: Meteor Activity Page
To read more about the Perseids this year, check out EarthSky’s Meteor Guide for 2012. For more background information on the Perseids and the comet they rode in on, check out Space.com’s August’s Perseid Meteor Shower Has Long Legacy, Bright Future.
Other Astronomommy articles on meteors include:
- Pieces of Another World by Mara Rockliff, a review of the children’s picture book about viewing meteors
- A Shooting Star is Not a Star, about a song for kids about what meteors really are
- Meteorite Hunting
- Has Anyone Been Hit By A Meteorite?
- Hello, Meteor, including a diagram about meteoroids/meteors/meteorites and a link to my favorite meteor commercial of all time…which doesn’t take much, since I don’t know of any others…still, it is delightful 😀