Tuesday, June 30, 2015

National Meteor Day 2015

Perseid Meteor 2012
Today is National Meteor Day, also known as National Meteor Watch Day. It's a fine time to go outside tonight and watch these small bits of space debris put on a show. Most meteors only survive about one second as they hit the earth's atmosphere at around 25,000 to 160,000 miles per hour. The show takes place anywhere from thirty to seventy miles above in the atmospheric region known as the mesosphere. Depending on composition and speed, meteors can appear in a variety of colors including white, orange, yellow, blue, purple, and red. If a meteor reaches the ground it becomes a meteorite. Thankfully, few meteors actually hit the earth intact but about six tons of meteor dust settles on our planet every day.

National Meteor Day is also a good reminder that the Perseid shower, the most reliable of the year, is a little less than six weeks away.  With the moon approaching a new phase - no moon - light conditions will be perfect this year.

Here is a link for more information about the day. For a forecast of what you can expect to see tonight and for the remainder of the week, check out the American Meteor Society's Activity Outlook page.


Photo: Visian ICL Blog, visianinfo.con, Roberto Porto



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