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Astro Bob

Fire Smoke May Dim Perseid Meteor Shower

11 Aug 2018, 16:29 UTC
Fire Smoke May Dim Perseid Meteor Shower
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Can you find the sun? I took this photo about 15 minutes before sunset through heavy smoke in Duluth last night in an otherwise clear sky. I could barely see it at the time. Bob King
Heavy smoke from forest fires in California and British Columbia may affect how many meteors we’ll see from the Perseid shower this weekend. Two nights ago, a gap between extensive tendrils of airborne smoke made for one of the darkest skies of the past few weeks. The Milky Way was incredible, and I even spotted a few early Perseids. Then last night, even though the sky was “clear,” it appeared sickly gray with only the brightest stars poking through. The Milky Way? Gone.
Winds had blown smoke from fires in northern British Columbia 2,200 miles (3,550 km) away over North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin by yesterday afternoon. Come evening, the sun was a dull, red ball barely visible to the eye before it set. The haze still lingers today. Maybe you’re seeing the same thing where you live. Smoke from the West has been reported as east as New York. From satellite photos it appears that most of the smoke is concentrated in the ...

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