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Upcoming: Perseid Meteor Showers

August 10, 2012
Constellation Perseus location

Location of Perseus in the night sky

One of our favorite times of the year here on St John is the second week in August, when the Perseid meteor showers are visible.  This year they’re most clearly visible starting tomorrow, August 11, through Monday, August 13th.  According to NASA, the best viewing is in the Northern Hemisphere, after 10 pm, though the best viewing will be in the darkest hours just before down.  We’re extra lucky down here because the VI is a low light environment, so the meteor shower will be more highly visible here than in a city.  This is especially true on St John in the National Park.

Perseus, the constellation from whence the Perseid shower appears to originate (thus their name), should rise around 11 pm in the northern sky.  The Perseid shower is associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the sun once every 133 years.  The stream of debris that stretches along the comet’s orbit is called the Perseid Cloud.

For a bit of extra information about meteors, meteor showers, the Perseids, and some other neat star-gazing stuff, check out StarDate.org

Ideas on where to watch from on St John: Cinnamon Bay, Peace Hill, Catherineberg Ruins, Annaberg Ruins, Ram Head… Where are you going to watch from?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Sydney permalink
    August 12, 2012 5:29 pm

    I just left St. John last night but wish I was still there to see the meteor shower. Have any meteors been found on St. John? I find this fascinating.

    • Sydney permalink
      August 12, 2012 7:59 pm

      I meant to say have any meteorites been found on St. John?

    • August 13, 2012 11:10 am

      To my knowledge none have been found on St John – I believe most of the meteors burn up as they pass through the atmosphere which is why they’re visible to us… also, I would imagine that anything that made it through intact would likely end up in the sea. St John would be a relatively small target 🙂 My knowledge is pretty limited in this area, I’ll look into it and see if I can find out any more!

  2. Sydney permalink
    August 14, 2012 7:43 am

    I found something that some say may be a meteorite but I just thought it was a piece of pewter or an old fishing weight. Now I am researching the topic.

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