August 12, 2009 Perseid Meteor Showers begin Wednesday morning….
And when we say August 12, we mean that morning … not that night. These typically fast and bright meteors radiate from a point in the constellation Perseus, and, like all meteors in annual showers, they cover a large part of the sky. The Perseids are considered by many people to be the year’s best shower when the moon is out of the way during the shower’s peak. Unfortnately, this year’s moon is not totally out of the way during the Perseids. The slightly waning gibbous moon rises around midnight – just as the Perseids start to pick up steam. Nonetheless, you should be able to catch some Perseid meteors before moonrise – and even after . The Perseids tend to strengthen in number as midnight ebbs toward dawn. Although not a favorable year, these meteors are often bright and frequently leave persistent trains. What’s more, enhanced activity may be in the works, so perhaps enough brighter meteors can overcome the moonlit glare to make this year’s production worthwhile. From late night on Tuesday, August 11 till dawn on Wednesday, August 12, a decent sprinkling of Perseid meteors may adorn this summer night, despite the pesky moon. Lie back and watch meteors until dawn’s light washes the stars, moon and planets from the sky.
Read more at http://www.earthsky.org/