Perseid Meteor Shower peaks tonight

If you can get away from the wash of Los Angeles light at night, the Perseid Meteor Shower will be peaking in the very early hours of tomorrow morning. That means tonight, after the moon sets at 1:09 AM.

Space.com points out the related tale of the natural phenomenon being known as “The Tears of St. Lawrence,” which involves the martyring of a Christian deacon by the Romans in 258 AD on an outdoor stove. Ouch!

Being the Darwinist that I am, I will try to focus on the wacky idea that the meteors are nothing more than hurtling space rocks from a distant comet burning up as they enter the Earth’s atmosphere. Thankfully, space.com plays it fair and balanced by also serving up the facts.

The exact time of maximum should be about 7:00 a.m. EDT (1100 GMT) Aug. 12… If so, the timing is very good for meteor watchers observing before dawn in North America, especially in the western states. And that morning, the waxing gibbous moon sets around 1:30 a.m. local daylight saving time, leaving a dark sky for the next 3 hours.

Take full advantage of that moonless period. Next year, a last quarter moon will illuminate the after-midnight sky with its light and will hinder observation of the Perseids.

Happy stargazing…

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