2016 Perseid Meteor Shower

On the evening of 11 August 2016, I set my alarm for 2 a.m. which came all too soon. I peeked out the back door to see clear skies so I got dressed and went out for a better look. The air was warm and humid but it was clear, no Moon, and the Milky Way was clearly visible. I woke Melissa and we went outside to lie on blankets on the driveway and watch the Perseids. By the time we got settled on our blankets it was 2:20 a.m. and over the next 45 minutes we counted 58 meteors! That comes to about 77 per hour. This was a good bit better than the 57 per hour we saw last year but not quite to the “spectacular” prediction that I had read about. Most of the meteors were short, fast, and not very bright, although we did see 5-6 very bright and long ones.

A few minutes after 3 a.m. clouds appeared in the South and within 5 minutes it was completely overcast. At this point we decided to go back inside. It had been a good show despite the cloud-out and I’m glad we made the effort to see it.

Category(s): Amateur Astronomy

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