If the song from Pinocchio was updated it would go “When you wish upon a star, you’ll have at least one kid asking for their iPad.” Waiting for a single falling star can get boring to a tiny human very quickly, but they’ll have a lot more fun when there’s a meteor shower and the sky is full of them. Every summer, the Perseids meteor shower graces the sky with its presence, and though it’s active from July 17 to August 24, the falling stars are set to peak this week on Friday August 12 at 1 a.m, but they will start appearing as early at 10 p.m. on August 11. Good thing everyone coasts on Friday.
“This year, instead of seeing about 80 Perseids per hour, the rate could top 150 and even approach 200 meteors per hour,” NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke told Space.com. In case your youngster asks (oh, they will), meteor showers are caused by pieces of space debris hitting Earth’s upper atmosphere, and Perseids debris is a result of the Comet Swift-Tuttle — about 26 kilometers worth of debris, which is the largest object to regularly pass by earth. Or you know, you can just tell them they’re made of wishes. Your kid will probably buy that.
You don’t need a telescope to catch it, but you do need a place with limited light pollution to see the full show. Depending on where you live, that may be just as difficult to come by and you’re gonna end up needing that iPad to watch it on later (sorry, New York!). But if you’re lucky enough to catch the real thing, don’t forget to bring a blanket… and a cooler full of beer. It’s for science.
[H/T] IFL Science