2017 Perseid Meteor Shower – Not A Good Year

   In reality this year’s annual Perseid Meteor shower will be affected by the Moon. The waning gibbous Moon will rise at about the same time as the constellation Perseus – the location for the meteors. With the bright reflected light from the Moon it will be nearly impossible to see any meteors.
   Also keep in mind that the numbers quoted for meteors per hour, the ‘ZHR’ or Zenith Hourly Rate, is an average not a guarantee that you will see that many. On a good peak night in some years I have seen 30 or 40 bright meteors per hour from dark skies. The best time is the few hours before sunrise as the Earth rotates your location into the direction the Earth is moving and sort of puts you face-on into the meteors.
(graphic source from Facebook with this URL: http://sci-techuniverse.com/) — link takes you to a non-existent web site, or to a Go-Daddy advertisement
Update: I did a search for the web site and found that the correct address is http://www.sci-techuniverse.com/, and after searching the web site I could not find this graphic. There is, however a write-up from last year about the Perseids.

   The peak time for the Perseids is August 12th and 13th but more specifically during the predawn hours of the 13th as the constellation Perseus is rising.

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.

One Perseid Down – Many to Go?

   Between 2 and 3 am CDT I took approximately 300 pictures of the sky around the constellation Perseus. During that time I set the camera on Burst mode with the shutter set to a 10 second exposure time at f4.0; ISO 1600, 18mm focal length, and captured what it was like watching the sky for about 25 minutes in a sequence of 152 pictures.
click on animated graphic to see it full size (1040x693)   These were then put into a short animated Gif so I could share the excitement of watching clouds drift across the sky! My viewing luck usually includes clouds as you can see. Toward the end a bright Perseid Meteor streaks above the treetops and at the very end of the sequence the stars start to fade out as dew collects on the camera lens.

  Using the Freeware StarTrails software I stacked the 152 pictures so they would show the effect of Earth rotation. The North Celestial Pole is toward the left side so the star trails are a bit more circular in shape then those toward the right side of the picture.

Caution: Objects viewed with an optical aid are further than they appear.
Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.