Fenton, MI — August 5th, 2020
This summer has and is providing some spectacular sights for star watchers and another big event starts soon. Have you seen the NEOWISE comet? It’s still visible in the night sky just after dark. Just locate the “Big Dipper” in the northwestern sky and look below and left of its vicinity. But it’s fading fast, it will be another 6,000 years before it reappears to earth.
The Planets Align and a Meteor Shower Coincides
Planetary alignment occurs this month with Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn all making appearances near the moon. The moon itself is featuring its full status currently.
But, best of all the annual Perseid meteor shower makes its appearance this month. The event is the most prolific meteor shower of the year, often displaying 50 to 100 meteors an hour. While active from mid-July to late August, the best dates for viewing are August 11, 12 and 13
According to NASA the meteor shower peaks on the morning of August 12th. The last-quarter moon will interfere with the visibility of most fainter Perseid meteors this year, but you’ll still be able to see a few brighter ones, including the occasional “fireball.”
The best time to look is in the pre-dawn hours on Aug. 12, but midnight to dawn any morning the week before or after should produce a few meteors. The Perseids generally appear to radiate from a point high in the north, called the “radiant.” But you need only point yourself generally toward the north and look up.