Thursday, August 12, 2010

Don't Miss This

I live for this kind of thing.

Tonight, four planets line up with the Moon, followed by the celestial fireworks of the Perseids meteor shower. No telescope is needed to enjoy these naked-eye treats.

You may need to drive away from the city or hike a mountain to see it. You won't be disappointed...if you're blessed with a clear sky.

Watch the western sky at sunset as Venus (the bright one) dances with the crescent Moon, with Mars, Saturn and tiny Mercury nearby. With Saturn and the personal planets (except Mercury) in Libra, relationships, love and money are in focus. Mercury in Virgo focuses on the details.

The annual Perseid meteor shower peaks tonight with as many as 70 or 80 meteors an hour. The display is extra visible this year against a dark sky just past the New Moon.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the best time to watch the Perseids will be tonight through the pre-dawn hours Friday, regardless of where you live. With a clear sky, you'll see a shooting star every minute or so.

While the best meteor-watching will be late night through daybreak, definitely go outside at sunset tonight and Friday. Venus is so bright in the western sky you can't miss her, with a thin crescent moon hanging just below. As darkness falls, Mars and Saturn will come into view. If you have hazy skies or live in an urban area, you may need binoculars to see Mars and Saturn.

In rare moments like these, cosmic mysteries are revealed. We are at one with the universe, and each other.

What a blessing in this season of accelerated change. Enjoy the show.

Perseids and Planets