Weather Blog

Uninvited guest to dim big meteor shower this weekend

Uninvited guest to dim big meteor shower this weekend
"This image is an aggregate of three hours of meteors taken at Trillium Lake between midnight and 3 a.m., Aug. 13, 2010," YouNews reporter rowdey wrote.

The weekend of August 13th is usually a big one in the star-gazing community as it's time for the annual Perseid Meteor Shower.

The shower occurs as the Earth passes through debris left behind from the Swift-Tuttle comet and it's usually one of the best of the year.

But this year, an uninvited guest is intruding on the party: the full moon. It just so happens the moon is full this weekend as well, and that bright light will prevent most of the dim to moderate meteors from being seen.

That's not to say we won't get a big streak here and there. Some of the larger comet particles that hit the Earth's outer atmosphere can even make a fireball and those are visible even in the moonlit skies.

Of course, in the Northwest, the other challenge is clouds, but you'll get at least half a night in.

The peak of the storm is early Saturday morning and skies should be clear through midnight, but marine clouds and fog will roll in toward dawn, so perhaps midnight-2 a.m. might be your best bet -- if only for not the moon.

Had the moon not been around, you could see several dozen an hour to perhaps approaching 100. (More details on the meteor shower)

But I also want to use this blog to highlight this great sky gazing weather tool put out with help by Environment Canada:

* Website

This gives an hour-by-hour forecast for not only cloud cover, but other items that can help plan your stargazing, such as temperature, wind and when it's truly dark.

Here is tonight's for Seattle and Portland, but their main site has this chart for any city:

And of course, if you get any good ones captured on camera, we'd love to see them! You can submit it to our YouNews site

Happy meteor shower watching!