As I write this, a wonderful thunderstorm has just passed through Coupland. My granddaughter slept through the whole thing! Amazing. I haven’t see the rain gauge but I’m confident that it topped 1 inch and I’m hoping for more.
Now, with our rain-cleared air, the next few days will be a good time to catch some shooting stars (a.k.a. meteors). This is just about the best time of year for meteors. Check out this Sky & Telescope article (Catch a Shooting Star) about the Delta Aquariid meteors and the Perseid meteor shower, which peaks around August 12 and is my personal favorite. Whenever possible, I try to arrange to observe it from Garner State Park.
If you are new to skywatching, the Sky & Telescope article, which is short but has lots of links for more information, will tell you everything you need to know to get the most out of the experience.
Last year, gazing up from our back yard, we saw dozens of beautiful meteors on the peak night of the Perseids. The kids won’t be back in school yet so make it a family event they won’t soon forget. And even though we always need more rain, there is no shame in praying for clear skies and some stellar inspiration from time to time!
Space Weather News for August 2, 2013
PERSEID METEOR SHOWER: Earth is entering a broad stream of debris from comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle, source of the annual Perseid meteor shower. Although the shower won’t peak until August 12-13, when Earth hits the densest part of the stream, the first Perseids are already arriving. Check http://spaceweather.com for images and updates.