Last night, Daryl took Jack, Victoria and Anna out of town a bit to watch the annual Perseid meteor showers. They went before prime viewing times (generally after midnight) but they got to see quite a few. Anna counted 11!
Daryl came back and got me and left Victoria in charge for a bit to let me see the show but by then the moon was up and bright, and it was in the part of the sky where the showers are. I got to see one small one, but I’ve seen them before and I was glad the kids got to see so many. Victoria said a couple were so bright they left a green trail for a few seconds.
Here’s an article all about where to look, what to do and when to do it if you want to try to catch the show tonight. This is the week to go sky watching if you want to see the Perseids, and they’re the best show all year in my book.
Here’s an activity Daryl did to help the kids understand what the meteor showers are, too:
He stood Alex on a stool and said he was the sun (son, boo!).
He had Alex hold one end of an orange scarf and he held the other, out in front of him. The scarf represented debris that the comet Swift-Tuttle has left as it orbits the sun over centuries. The debris is what makes up the meteor showers.
He had the kids walk around the sun as the earth. Every time they had to walk through the scarf they were walking through the area where the constellation Perseus is and ducking under the flying space rocks (many of which are just pebbles really!) that may have originated there. The rocks vaporize and burn out as they hit our atmosphere, creating the fireballs we see.
I thought it was a great visual and it made it much easier to understand why we have the showers every year.
Do try to catch the show if you can! It really is a magical event.