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The Perseids: July-August 2009
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Summary: Forecasters expect the 2009 Perseid meteor shower to peak on August 11th and 12th. Moonlight will interfere with the display, but not ruin it. Sky watchers in dark country locations could see more than 100 meteors per hour, and perhaps as many as 200 if Earth passes through an anticipated filament of comet dust that is crossing Earth's path. NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office warns of a possible outburst at 0800 UT (01 a.m. PDT) on August 12th. [live meteor counts] [possible outburst] [observing tips] [sky map]

  Photographer, Location Images Comments

Pete Lawrence,
Selsey, West Sussex, UK
Aug. 12, 2009
#1, #2

Gotcha! The distinctive colour change as the meteor comes through the atmosphere can clearly be seen here as well as a pair of terminal bursts as the Perseid meteoroid finally meets its end.

Jimmy Westlake,
Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
Aug. 12, 2009
#1, #2

Here are two bright Perseid fireballs that fell during a spike in activity between 1:30 and 2:30 o'clock MDT on August 12, 2009.

The first one (Perseid 47) is a 30-sec exposure taken at 1:48 am MDT. The second one (Perseid 94 - the brightest of the night) was captured at 2:14 am MDT. Both were taken with a Fuji Finepix Pro S2 digital camera set at ISO 400 with a 16 mm wide angle lens at f2.8.

Moonlight enhances the scene looking out over Stagecoach Lake near Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Mila Zinkova,
Fremont Peak State Park, California, USA
Aug. 11, 2009
#1, #2, #3, more

I started to look for Perseids at around 9:30 p.m. on August 11. Milky Way and long sparkling meteors made a dazzling scenery. Later on the rising Moon slowly washed away Milky Way and most meteors.

Bill Cooke,
NASA Meteoroid Environment Office, Huntsville, Alabama
Aug. 10, 2009
#1, #2

NASA astronomer Bill Cooke operates a pair of all-aky meteor cameras separated by 100 miles--one in Alabama and one in Georgia. This Moon-bright Perseid fireball was captured by both cameras on August 10th. Using simple principles of parallax and triangulation, he was able to estimate the meteor's height (100 km), velocity (59 km/s), and its 3D trajectory through the atmosphere. Stay tuned for more of these as the shower unfolds.

Brian Emfinger,
Ozark, Arkansas
Aug. 10, 2009
#1, #2, more

I have had my camera out all night the last two nights with a fisheye lens and have only been able to capture a handful of dim meteors. Most of the meteors I have seen are dim and fast and with The Moon...they are difficult to photograph. I did catch this magnitude -8 Lightning Bug Fireball that was outshone only by the Moon. The lightning bug must have been just a inch above the lens. The 2nd pic is a dim Perseid Meteor from early this morning.

Photo details: Canon Digital Rebel XT, ISO 1600, F3.5, 1 min exposure.

more images: from Doug Zubenel of St. Philippine Duchesne Memorial Park, Linn Co., Kansas; from Peter Elzinga of Burgum, Netherlands; from Steve Paluch of Milwaukee, WI; from Becky Ramotowski of Tijeras, New Mexico; from Dave P Smith of Bluebell Hill, Chatham, Kent, UK; from Victor van Wulfen of 's-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands;