little messy missy

little messy missy

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

meteor shower

We woke the kids up at 4:00 A.M. and drove......we found a great spot to watch the Perseids Meteor Shower. It was awesome! They were beautiful and could be seen every 1 or 2 minutes. Some left tails of white light and a few had redish tails. There were soooo many.

*History taken from

The earliest record of Perseid activity comes from the Chinese annals, where it is said that in 36 AD "more than 100 meteors flew thither in the morning." Numerous references appear in Chinese, Japanese and Korean records throughout the 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th centuries, but only sporadic references are found between the 12th and 19th centuries, inclusive. Nevertheless, August has long had a reputation for an abundance of meteors. The Perseids have been referred to as the "tears of St. Lawrence", since meteors seemed to be in abundance during the festival of that saint in Italy on August 10th; however, credit for the discovery of the shower's annual appearance is given to Adolphe Quételet (Brussels, Belgium), who, in 1835, reported that there was a shower occurring in August that emanated from the constellation Perseus.

The first observer to provide an hourly count for this shower was E. Heis (Münster), who found a maximum rate of 160 meteors per hour in 1839. Observations by Heis and other observers around the world continued almost annually thereafter, with maximum rates typically falling between 37 and 88 per hour through 1858. Interestingly, the rates jumped to between 78 and 102 in 1861, according to estimates by four different observers, and, in 1863, three observers reported rates of 109 to 215 per hour. Although rates were still somewhat high in 1864, generally "normal" rates persisted throughout the remainder of the 19th-century.

1 comment:

JeanieB said...

That sounds really neat. I went to see a meteor shower once with my family when I was little, but there weren't as many meteors as the one you went to. - Jeanie


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