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How to find the radiant point for Perseid meteors

10 Aug 2011, 07:01 UTC
How to find the radiant point for Perseid meteors
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With the full moon to spoil the show, 2011 is not a favorable year watching the Perseid meteor shower. Today's chart shows the shower’s radiant point.

Here is the radiant point for the famous Perseid meteor shower. Although the 2011 Perseid meteors are picking up steam over the next several days, the brilliant moon will wash all but the brightest Perseid meteors from view. If you can find some way to get around the glaring moonlight, the wee hours before dawn on August 11, 12 and 13 should offer the greatest number of meteors for the night. Unfortunately, the full moon will be out in full force when the shower peaks on August 13.
Tips on how to minimize the moon and maximize the Perseids
Why are meteor showers often better after midnight and best before dawn? One way to think about it is this. The shower’s radiant point – the point in the sky from which the meteors appear to radiate – needs to be above your horizon before you can see the most meteors. Today’s chart shows the radiant point of the Perseid meteor shower – in the constellation Perseus the Hero – ascending in the northwest ...

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