Lighting Up the Night Sky
We are already getting reports of Perseid meteor sightings in the night sky! The summer meteor shower is in full swing right now, but the phase of the moon will make viewing best the mornings of August 12 and 13 when there will be the least amount of moonlight. 50-100 meteors an hour are possible in this show! (Image Credit below: NASA/JPL-Caltech)
Perseids are one of the more interesting meteor showers. These enter the atmosphere around 35 mph, so they're a faster-moving show. Often these meteors appear colorful and leave traces in the sky. EarthSky explains, "A meteor train is a persistent glow in the air, left by some meteors after they have faded from view. Trains are caused by luminous ionized matter left in the wake of this incoming space debris. A good percentage of Perseids are known to leave persistent trains. They linger for a moment or two after the meteor has gone."
It's always best to look for meteors between midnight and dawn, but there have already been sightings after sunset but before midnight. You need to get far away from light to make it easier for your eyes to see the shooting stars.
The International Space Station will also fly over tonight! It will be visible at 10:01 PM for three minutes, and by 9 PM most of our clouds should be fading away. The maximum height will be 49º so it should be pretty easy to spot. Look 32º above West for it to appear, then it will disappear 25º above SSE.
If you manage to snap a picture of the International Space Station or a meteor, send it to us using the links below!