Please click here for information about the calendars.

August 11, 2014 - Perseid Preview

Perseid Preview Each August, Earth passes through a debris trail left by Comet Swift-Tuttle. At a rate of about one per minute, bits of dust, some as fine as cigar ash, release tremendous energy as they slam into the atmosphere at speeds of 58 km/sec (129,000 mph). These meteors leave trails that radiate from the constellation Perseus, lending this meteor shower its name, the Perseids. The shower peaks overnight on the 12th/13th, but the Moon will outshine all but the brightest meteors. In 2007, a moonless sky allowed Fred Bruenjes to create this composite image from nearly 3,000 images he took over the course of two nights. The image, covering a broad area of the sky, clearly shows that radial pattern of meteors. Also visible is the Andromeda Galaxy (center left of image) and the Milky Way.

Image credit: Fred Bruenjes

Weekly Calendar

August 11-17, 2014

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 11

Neptune 5° south of Moon

1960: Discoverer 13 capsule becomes first object recovered from orbit
: Vostok 3 launched

Moon phase Tuesday 12

Perseid meteor shower

1877: Asaph Hall discovers Deimos, moon of Mars
1960: Echo 1 satellite launched on first successful Delta rocket
1962: Vostok 4 launched
1977: HEAO-1 launched
1977: Space shuttle Enterprise’s first glide test
2005: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter launched

Moon phase Wednesday 13

Perseid meteor shower

Moon phase Thursday 14

Uranus 1.2° south of Moon

Moon phase Friday 15

Moon phase Saturday 16

1963: M2-F1 lifting body makes first glide flight after being towed aloft by a C-47

Moon phase Sunday 17

Last Qtr Moon 8:26 AM ET

1966: Pioneer 7 launched
1970: Venera 7 launched
2006: Voyager 1 is 100 AU from Earth

Suggestions for new history dates or better links? Corrections for errors on this page? Please e-mail me.