Monday, August 06, 2007

Look Up On Sunday!

I haven't forgotten you!

I will be heading out again on Wednesday, August 8th, and my first stop will be near Skyline Drive in Edinburg, VA. I should be there for a week.

So what's going on there? In addition to the Skyline Drive/Luray attractions, mother nature will be adding to the fun on Sunday night/Monday morning (August 12-13) when the annual Perseid meteor shower happens -- and the Edinburg area should be nice and dark. This is expected to be a good year for the shower because there will be no moon to wash out the display. Even though the peak is Sunday night/Monday morning, a lot of meteors are often seen a few days on either side. If you are so inclined, grab a lawn chair and sit outside -- the darker the site the better, but you should be able to see some almost anywhere. Telescopes not required! But you will need to sacrifice a bit of sleep -- the real showers happen after midnight, when our section of the earth has rotated into the leading edge of our orbit.

The meteors will all appear to emanate from the constellation Perseus, but this can be difficult to find without a chart. Instead, just look for the big "W" in the sky. This is the constellation Cassiopeia, traditionally the Queen of Ethiopia or Andromeda's Mother. It is close enough to Perseus to serve as a guide, but is much more easily recognized.

The photo on this blog is a damselfly from Rickett's Glen. The eyes are on either side of the stalk of grass, and the white blur is the damselfly's body.

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