Perseid meteor shower peaks tonight

The best meteor shower of the year — the Perseids — peaks tonight. In preparation for a planned outing to a dark sky site, I ran my camera from our roof last night for 8 hours. Despite significant light pollution, I made the following captures. The first was only 1 hour after sunset, and is an “Earthgrazer”, when the radiant is still below the horizon and meteors skim the upper atmosphere with long tails:

Perseid “Earthgrazer”, taken with Canon 6D, 15 sec exp., 20mm f/2.8, ISO3200. No cropping.

While one might suspect this was a satellite, the angular extent of the path is 60 deg., and in only 15 sec satellites cover only a small fraction of that distance; plus, the green color indicates a meteor.

The second photo is after the radiant is well above the horizon, so the meteors have shorter paths directly into the upper atmosphere:

As in the previous photo, but with 100% crop, and taken about 2 a.m.

Hoping for mostly clear skies tonight.

via Roy Spencer, PhD.

August 12, 2018 at 09:56AM

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