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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Today's Google logo shows this:

And that means it is a special occasion, and you should be verrrrrrrry excited.

It is the 2009 Perseid meteor shower!

The name Perseid originates from the constellation Perseus which the meteoroids appear to come from. (The meteoroids do not actually come from Perseus. Perseus is made up of stars light years away, while these meteoroids are only miles away, passing through our atmosphere.) This meteor shower is an annual event which happens every year early August. The Earth passes through rock and dust fragments left behind by the comet Swift-Tuttle, and as these small particles collide with the Earth’s atmosphere, they burn-up, often creating a beautiful streak of light across the sky.

Can we see this meteor shower in Singapore? Andrew says yes☺. Face eastward tonight (slightly to the north) and look high up from 11pm to 5am, it is going to be a wonderous spectacle. But it would require a relatively clear sky and what you see may be affected by the brightness of the moon. As always, the darker the better. Depending on the sky conditions you may see about 10- 20 meteors per hour. The peak time for meteor showers is usually around 2am to 4am.

Note that you need just your naked eye to see the meteor shower, a pair of binos may come in useful if you have one. It is best to have a comfortable chair or mat that you can rest on and gaze at the sky for a few hours.

We wish you luck.

Check out NASA's article on Perseids here.
Source: IYA2009, Sky and Telescope

A short video of what you may see:

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