Mt. Shasta and the Perseid Meteor Shower
Every August, the Perseid meteor shower can be counted on to delight shooting star aficionados around the world! This week, the astral activity peaked in the early hours of Friday the 12th when one meteor per minute, or thereabouts, was predicted. Some, the size of a grain of sand, were faint and required a fairly dark sky location to observe. Larger ones, the size of a grape, produce fireballs with a super bright trail that persists and might even include a trail of smoke as it quickly burns up in the earth’s atmosphere.
The 2016 Perseids are Better Than Average
The NASA and other rocket science guys who predict these things are saying that this year, the Perseids could produce up to 200 meteors per hour at the peak of activity. Holy Toledo! That’s more than three each minute! I didn’t see that many, but then, one guy can’t actually see the entire sky at once. Realistically, the best we might see is 20 to 60 per hour. Still, not too shabby! The reason this year’s spectacle will be more active is that Jupiter’s gravitational field is pulling the ball of space dust into a better position so that the Earth is passing through center of it, where the dust and pebbles are more dense. Makes sense. For the record, there was one instance where I saw three meteors, including two fireballs, in about 30 seconds!
Viewing the Perseid Meteor Shower in Northern California
Best viewing, as always, is the least convenient. 1 AM to 4 AM is prime time. The moon is at first quarter during the peak days of the meteor shower and it’s light drowns out the weaker meteor trails. However, when the moon sets after midnight, the additional darkness really makes them pop!
About the Meteor, Mt. Shasta, Milky Way Photo
That’s an actual Perseid meteor in the photo of Mt. Shasta at the top of the page. Since I’m up late, might as well make a milky way photograph too and just combine the whole thing into one photo, right? What I don’t know about is that glowing light under Mt. Shasta. Looks like an alien ship might have landed there beyond the trees.
Upload to Instagram from Your Desktop
This tip is only for my fellow Mactographers who have ever wished to upload your fabulous photos to Instagram after processing them on your laptop or desktop computer. Macphun Software has a deal through August which includes their newest useful tool called Uplet. There’s a short video below that shows how it works.