Keep your eyes on the skies to see the Perseids

A multicolored Perseid meteor striking the sky...

A multicolored Perseid meteor striking the sky just to the right from Milky Way. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Mario Carr

Recently, I was observing at Binbrook Conservation area with members from the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers and there was a flash in the sky. Somebody yelled out, did anyone see that? There was dead silence.

No one saw it because we were all looking down fiddling with something. It turned out to be a bright meteor or bolide. The lesson here – if you’re into astronomy keep your eyes on the skies.

On Sunday August 11, you’ll want to make sure your eyes are on the skies. The club will once again open the gates to Binbrook Conservation Area for its annual Perseids Meteor Shower Watch. Free admission after 8 p.m. and the event runs until 11 p.m.

If you plan to attend, make sure you bring a blanket, groundsheet or lounge chair because lying down is one of the best ways to see the meteor shower. Also, protect yourself from mosquitoes by applying repellent, wearing pants and a long sleeve shirt.

There will also be a night sky tour, samples of meteorites and members will set-up telescopes for observing. Weather permitting and there are no rain dates scheduled so check the website for details. There will also be a volunteer collection of non-perishable items for local food banks. So far, we’ve collected more than 2,000 pounds of food thanks to everyone’s generosity.

Here are August stargazer events. Most are listed in the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers calendar.

Planet watching

Mercury can be seen low in the eastern morning twilight sky but vanishes by the middle of the month. Venus is low in the western evening sky. Mars and Jupiter are low in the north eastern morning sky. Saturn is low in the south west mid evening sky setting late evening.

Aug. 3 and 4 – The crescent moon is close to Jupiter, in the dawn eastern twilight sky. Below the pair are Mars and Mercury in the constellation Gemini.

Aug. 9 – The crescent moon is below Venus low in the western evening twilight sky.

Aug. 12 – The crescent moon is below Saturn and sets in the early evening sky making good views of the peak of Perseids Meteor Shower tonight. Up to 60 meteors per hour can be seen from a dark location after midnight. The shower can be seen from July 23 – Aug. 22.

Aug. 14 – First quarter moon

Aug. 20 – The full moon is also called the Sturgeon Moon.

Aug. 28 – Last quarter moon

Aug. 31— The crescent moon is below Jupiter in the eastern morning sky.

For more information, please see the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers web site at http://www.amateurastronomy.org or call (905) 627-4323.

Mario Carr is the club’s director of public education and appears on CHCH-TV to talk about the night sky. He can be reached at mariocarr@cogeco.ca.

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About Mario Carr

Mario Carr has a Physics degree from McMaster University and hosts this blog. He is the director of public education for the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers and has helped to raise the profile of the group. He writes an astronomy column and appears on CHCH-TV to talk about the night sky. Mario is the founder of the Carr Marketing Group in Burlington, Ontario and can help with your marketing, communications, publicity and public relations needs. He can be reached at www.carrmarketinggroup.com or mariocarr@cogeco.ca.
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One Response to Keep your eyes on the skies to see the Perseids

  1. Pingback: McMaster’s William J. McCallion Planetarium | The sky this month

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