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Latest Meteor showers Stories

1ac04e8765485ffc25e2e09ddee95aaf1
2009-08-10 15:30:00

Splat! There goes another bug on the windshield.Anyone who's ever driven down a country lane has seen it happen. A fast moving car, a cloud of multiplying insects, and a big disgusting mess.The next time that happens to you, instead of grossing out, try thinking of the experience as an astronomy lesson. Your car is Earth. The bugs are tiny flakes of comet dust. The carnage on your windshield ... it's a meteor shower!Earth, like a speeding car, races around the Sun sweeping up everything in...

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2009-07-31 06:15:00

Earth is entering a stream of dusty debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle, the source of the annual Perseid meteor shower. Although the shower won't peak until August 11th and 12th, the show is already getting underway. Don't get too excited, cautions Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. "We're just in the outskirts of the debris stream now. If you go out at night and stare at the sky, you'll probably only see a few Perseids per hour." This will change, however, as August unfolds....

aee91cfffe2547a39b711b02cd0ceb621
2009-04-17 13:00:00

Picture this: It's 4:30 in the morning. You're up and out before the sun. Steam rises from your coffee cup, floating up to the sky where a silent meteor streaks through a crowd of stars. A few minutes later it happens again, and again. A meteor shower is underway. One of the streaks leads to the eastern horizon. There, just above the tree line, Venus and the crescent Moon hover side by side, so close together they almost seem to touch. Suddenly, Venus wavers, winks, and disappears. All of...

ec6788ef62fd62e68dca6aacc15e4bf81
2008-12-06 10:10:00

Astronomers from Caltech and NASA say a strong shower of Leonid meteors is coming in 2009. Their prediction follows an outburst on Nov. 17, 2008, that broke several years of "Leonid quiet" and heralds even more intense activity next November. "On Nov. 17, 2009, we expect the Leonids to produce upwards of 500 meteors per hour," says Bill Cooke of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. "That's a very strong display." Forecasters define a meteor storm as 1000 or more meteors per hour. That would...

88845120ee207932a6fca614d60e23931
2008-11-11 07:25:00

It started out as a normal day. NASA astronomer and meteor expert Bill Cooke woke up, dressed, and went to his office at the Marshall Space Flight Center. Colleagues greeted him as usual, there was no hum of excitement. And then he checked his email. "That's how I found out"”I'd slept through a meteor outburst!" During the dark hours before dawn on Sept. 9, 2008, a surprising flurry of meteors had showered the skies above Huntsville, Alabama. More than two dozen of them were fireballs...

112c52bd7dc2aabe5c6299681414e83a
2008-09-03 07:10:00

There's more than one way to watch a meteor shower. One, the old-fashioned way: Find a dark place with starry skies and count the meteors streaking overhead. Two, the new way: Find a dark place with starry skies and then completely ignore the meteors. Instead, watch the Moon. That's where the explosions are. On August 9th, a pair of amateur astronomers on opposite sides of the United States did it the new way. With the Perseid meteor shower just underway, they fixed their cameras on the Moon...

11d1720ea3a42d99f49c44ce56cce3f31
2008-08-08 19:00:00

Mark your calendar: The 2008 Perseid meteor shower peaks on August 12th and it should be a good show. "The time to look is during the dark hours before dawn on Tuesday, August 12th," says Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center. "There should be plenty of meteors--perhaps one or two every minute." The source of the shower is Comet Swift-Tuttle. Although the comet is far away, currently located beyond the orbit of Uranus, a trail of debris from the...

e9c3c11f163ba86f20de395070377af91
2008-05-22 07:20:00

Not so long ago, anyone claiming to see flashes of light on the Moon would be viewed with deep suspicion by professional astronomers. Such reports were filed under "L" "¦ for lunatic. Not anymore. Over the past two and a half years, NASA astronomers have observed the Moon flashing at them not just once but one hundred times. "They're explosions caused by meteoroids hitting the Moon," explains Bill Cooke, head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center...

2008-01-03 09:21:53

The Quadrantid meteor shower is due to reach maximum in the predawn hours of Friday, Jan. 4. The Quadrantids are notoriously unpredictable, but if any year promises a fine display, this could be it. Indeed, this may end up being the best meteor shower of 2008. The Quadrantid (pronounced KWA-dran-tid) meteor shower provides one of the most intense annual meteor displays, with a brief, sharp maximum lasting but a few hours. The timing of peak activity favors Western Europe and eastern North...

2007-12-14 06:55:36

Many meteor showers tend to disappoint, but the annual Geminid shower is relatively reliable. And this year's version, which peaks tonight, is expected to be a great one. Meteors could start showing up anytime after dark this evening, Dec. 13, low on the eastern horizon. A better display should begin after 10 p.m. or so local time, when the constellation Gemini, from which the meteors emanate, rises higher into the Eastern sky. By 2 a.m. local time Friday, Dec. 14, Gemini is directly...


Latest Meteor showers Reference Libraries

4_c4d3c824e14b01f0a42ed26fd3aa94142
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Perseids Meteor Shower -- Like most meteor showers, the Perseids are caused by comet debris. As comets enter the inner solar system, they are warmed by the sun and peppered by the solar wind, which produces the familar tails that stretch across the night sky when a bright comet is close to Earth. Comet tails are made of tiny pieces of ice, dust, and rock which are spewed into interplanetary space as they bubble off the comet's nucleus. When Earth encounters these particles on its...

4_e2e27d30e4681c0d7b628fb29a1685cd2
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Leonids Meteor Shower -- The Leonids are a prolific meteor shower associated with the comet Tempel-Tuttle. The meteor stream is viewable every year around November 17 and is thought to be comprised of particles ejected by the comet as it passes by the Sun. When the Earth moves through the meteor stream, the meteor shower is visible. The Leonids get their name from usually making their appearance in or near the constellation Leo. The Leonids are famous because their meteor showers,...

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