Perseids Meteor Shower 2012: Peak Time and Places to Watch in Shaker, Beachwood & Cleveland Heights
Experts say the meteor shower will be at its best Saturday and Sunday. Where should you watch the Perseids Meteor Shower in the area?
The Perseids Meteor Shower 2012 can work for you as a cheap date night, especially since it peaks in Shaker Heights, Beachwood and Cleveland Heights on Saturday night and into Sunday morning.
If the clouds cooperate (that means if they stay away), you can see the annual meteor shower any night this week. Space.com tells us these objects are tiny bits of rock and debris from an old comet, which is named Swift-Tuttle after the astronomers who discovered it in 1862.
The shower splashes through the sky every year in early August when Earth passes through the comet Swift-Tuttle's orbit and sweeps up some of this debris. We see shooting stars -- rapid streaks of light -- as the tiny rocks encounter the thin upper atmosphere of the Earth and the air is heated to incandescence.
For the geeks among us, here's some trivia: The Perseids get their name from Perseus, the constellation from which they seem to emanate, but they can appear anywhere in the sky. Their only connection with Perseus is that, if you trace their path backward across the sky, eventually you get to Perseus.
You can see the shower anywhere in the sky, but look toward the southeastern sky to see the meteors at their brightest and longest.
This bit of advice from Space.com
If you don't see any meteors at first, be patient. This is a meteor shower, not a meteor storm. There will be a lot more meteors than you would see on a normal night, but they will still only come at random intervals, perhaps 20 or 30 in an hour.
When you do see a meteor, it will likely be very fast and at the edge of your field of vision. You may even doubt that what you saw was real. But, when you do see something, watch that area more closely, as two or three meteors often come in groups down the same track.
Iowa City Patch shared some words on the shower from the Iowa City Astronomy Club:
The perseids typically produce 60 or more meteors per hour under dark skies. The greatest number of meteors will be seen after midnight, when the radiant is higher in the sky. A crescent moon will rise around 1:00 a.m., but it shouldn’t interfere too much, since Pereids are usually bright. Let’s hope we have clear skies, and the Perseids put on a great show!
Here are a couple places in the area you might be able to catch the Perseids:
- Beachwood City Park (Shaker Boulevard at Richmond Road)