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Published on August 5th, 2012 | by James Ayre

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Perseid Meteor Shower 2012 Will Peak On August 12th

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The Perseid meteor shower of 2012 is set to peak on August 12th, when “the Earth is expected to encounter the ‘core’ of the Perseid swarm, where meteoroid concentration is densest.”

The Perseids will be easiest to view during this time because the meteors appear to separate from a part of sky near the Double Cluster in Perseus. It’s an illusion of perspective though, “since that is the direction toward which the Earth’s orbital motion carries us at this time of the meteor shower.”

“At the same time, the meteoroids are traveling on parallel paths nearly perpendicular to the Earth’s orbit. The combined speeds of the Earth and the meteoroids cause the Perseids to rush into our atmosphere at average speeds of 37 miles (60 km) per second.”

“For a single observer with access to a wide-open view of a clear, dark sky, meteors should appear at an average rate of about one every minute or two. Veteran observers, however, say that the Perseids tend to appear in bunches: several over an interval of minute or two followed by a lull of several more minutes before appearing again.”

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The meteors you see are actually comet fragments, bits of metal and stone, they are only called meteoroids “while they exist in and move through space. But a meteor is not a particle of matter itself. It is merely the short-lived streak of light produced by the meteoroid as it is heated to incandescence by its plunge through the Earth’s atmosphere.”

“The kinetic energy released per gram of the meteoroid’s weight far exceeds the energy efficiency of the most powerful man-made explosives. Thus, an object the size of a pea or pebble can create a very substantial meteor trail. “

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“A meteoroid swarm is sometimes referred to as a ‘flying gravel bank,’ though it is not a very compact one. The Perseid meteoroids, for example, are anywhere from 60 to 100 miles (96 to 160 kilometers) apart at the densest part of the swarm. Earth enters the outer fringes of the gravel bank around July 25, but does not leave it behind until we see the last stragglers around August 18. All told, the Perseid stream is immense – perhaps as large as 50 million miles in diameter.”

Source: Space and Wikipedia

Image Credits: NASA/JPL; Perseid and Sky via Wikimedia Commons




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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.



  • Kensei

    Couldn’t have said it better myself Christianity 101. So tired of these people claiming to be Christians but condemning people with their judgment. They don’t obey what Jesus commanded (John 14:21), so in accordance with what Jesus said, they don’t love Him. If you don’t use the door (John 14:6), please don’t call yourself a Christian; people who follow Christ are “Christians.” I’m not being judgmental, I’m being honest, quit doing detestable things all the while defiling Jesus’ Holy name.

  • marina

    what time is the best time to look at the shower

  • Christianity 101

    Wow! And u call urselves Christians! If u come across a non believer, does it mean u have the right to judge and or condemn them?

    To each his own! What u know to be true cannot be inflicted upon them! Stop the bible bashing and one upmanship! Don’t call urself a Christian if u don’t know how to be one!

    I’m a Christian and disgusted! Not for the poor souls who know not what is to come, but for the fake Christians who feel that they will prevail thru condemning the next man

  • John

    Enjoy Hell Jung and poe2299…. hope you like hot weather!

  • Mike

    Amen, brother.

  • Whats Truth?

    Because one with so little knowledge can decipher the difference between God and Nature. What binds God’s name to unnatural events or occurrences? He made all, thus does all. “Natural” is only the term we use for things we see commonly or have a “explanation”for.

  • Donald Henderson

    no the bible doesnt Lie, Man Lies

    • Ellie

      How does the bible not lie if Man is the one who created it? Tell me that.

      • greg russ

        Dear Poor Lost Soul,
        2 Timothy 3:16-17
        16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness;
        17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. Amen and Amen

  • Dong

    actually, sounds like one of the few true things in the bible.

  • JQ

    Its ok Nathan keep spreading the truth, Natural minds cannot discern spiritual things.

  • Jung

    Thats twice I’ve seen about Nathan leave this same stupid ass bible verse….I promise you God is not behind the meteor shower….or anything else

    • BCool

      It is not polite to troll, but how does it help to be angry and intolerant? Anyone of us can belittle another’s beliefs and point our finger at “them” because they do not follow our exact train of thought. Some of the best scientist throughout history have maintained a healthy balance of what we call science (5 senses and interpretation) and spirituality (morals and hope). Have we each personally proven every fundamental science concept that we discuss or do we have faith in others that the results are accurate.

  • http://gravatar.com/poe2299 poe2299

    blah blah blah blah lies blah blah

    ~bible

    • http://www.facebook.com/Yetzederixx Jared Beekman

      I concur. Why do the ignorant even bother coming to these sites of education if they aren’t willing to be educated.

      Just to god troll?

      Go jump off a bridge and wait for your zombie lord to raise you and start the apocalypse.

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