Perseid Meteor Shower 2011: Why You Can't See The Celestial Event
It seems the moon's going to be putting a damper on Thursday's typically stunning meteor shower.
But that doesn't mean you shouldn't try to catch it.
This year's summer meteor shower happens to coincide with a full moon, so it seems these little streaks in the sky will be virtually impossible to see. According to Discover Magazine, the moon's light will also wash out fainter stars in the sky.
*SCROLL DOWN FOR AN UPDATE ON THE BEST TIME TO SEE THE METEOR SHOWER*
Rebecca Johnson, editor of StarDate magazine, tells USA Today that "personally I wouldn't think it would be worthwhile to arrange a really big trip to go somewhere dark to view the meteors, because the Moon's going to wash most of it out."
However, you still might catch one or two around 11pm EDT, when the shower would typically be best to view. The whole event starts Thursday night, but lasts through Saturday morning.
If you're still thinking about giving it a shot, Meteor Showers Online offers a bit more information on where you may still be able to see the event.
If you can't see the shower, but are still utterly determined to catch the event, there's still a way you can "listen" to it.
SpaceweatherRadio.com will actually allow you to hear the waves produced by the particles as they are ionized in the upper atmosphere.
But the Air Force has a radar surveillance facility in Texas that beams radio waves into the sky. When a bit of cosmic fluff streaks through our sky, the ionized trail it leaves reflects the radio waves, producing an echo. This radio wave is then translated into sound, so you can effectively hear a meteor!
You can also check out photos and video from the Perseid meteor shower from last year.
UPDATE: As one expert tells ABC, it still may be possible to get a good viewing of the meteor shower, despite the full moon:
"The best time to look is during the hours before dawn especially on Saturday morning, August 13th," writes Tony Phillips, an astronomer who manages the Science News page at NASA's website. "The full Moon will be relatively low, and the meteor rate should be peaking at that time."
In addition, astronomers may be in for a special treat in North America. It seems, as ABC reports, that the International Space Station will be visible in the early morning hours this week in various location. For more information on when and where you can catch a glimpse of the ISS, check out NASA's Human Spaceflight site.