First Glimpse of 2011 Perseid Meteor Shower. (NASA/MSFC/Meteoroid Environment Office)
A look to the skies tonight will be a larger treat than in past years as the Perseid meteor showers begin their yearly August show in the night skies. Unfortunately this year the peak of the show will be on August 12, when a full moon is scheduled, so viewing will be hampered.
An added treat this year is the lesser known Delta Aquarid meteor shower is expected to peak on Friday night, when the Delta Aquarids’ more productive Perseid cousin is just starting to ramp up. Together the showers will produce anywhere between 15 and 30 shooting stars per hour under clear, dark skies. Astronomers are saying that the Delta Aquarids could be one of the best meteor showers of the year. The action starts tonight well after midnight so don’t forget to look up! More information can be found on NASA’s Blog.
Want to learn more about meteorites? In celebration of the arrival of NASA’s Dawn mission to the asteroid Vesta in July, the ROM exhibits the world’s most comprehensive collection of meteorites thought to be from that asteroid on temporary display in the Teck Suite of Galleries: Earth’s Treasures.