Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Meteor Shower!

Don't be alarmed if you see hundreds of necks craned to the sky tonight through Wednesday morning.

Up to 100 meteors per hour are expected to paint the sky with fiery streaks as the Earth passes through the dust trail of Comet Swift-Tuttle, according to the Adler Planetarium. The display could be the most vibrant in years, the planetarium says.

The comet, discovered in 1862, is a giant iceberg made up of ice, rock and dust particles. Dust particles the size of sand slowly have been eroding away from the comet every time it approaches the sun, leaving a trail of debris that the Earth's orbit intersects once every year, according to the planetarium.

That means sky lovers can expect quite a show tonight and Wednesday morning.

The particles, known as meteoroids, create a meteor shower when they collide with the Earth's atmosphere and burn up, creating fiery streaks across the sky, according to the planetarium.
Mark Hammergren, an astronomer at Adler, said the best viewing time in the Chiocago area will be tonight before the moon is expected to rise at 10:09 p.m. and Wednesday before the moon rises at 10:40 p.m.

And the best viewing place? Get away from the city lights and look northeast while the skies remain dark. As Hammergren said, the darker the skies, the better.


Kate said...

Just read this on MSN, good article similar to what your doing, keep it up :)


rkmelissa said...

Thanks for the info - I'm so excited! I hope the sky is clear.

Anonymous said...

maybe one could fall on king daley's head!

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