The Perseid meteor shower will peak for the year overnight and NASA wants the viewing to be a shared online experience.
The space agency is hosting a live web chat beginning at 11 p.m. ET and lasting until 5 a.m. ET Saturday. Astronomers Bill Cooke, Danielle Moser and Rhiannon Blaauw from the Marshall Space Flight Center will lead the chat.
While you're chatting, a camera on the Marshall Center in Huntsville, Alabama, will stream pictures of the night sky in search of meteors. NASA says because of a full moon, about 20 to 30 meteors an hour will be visible. Best viewing will be in the northern hemisphere.
The Perseids come from dust and debris left behind the Swift-Tuttle comet. Every August, Earth passes through the comet's debris cloud and the meteors visible are bits of that debris burning up in the atmosphere.
Watch with NASA
Watching the meteor shower? Share your story with iReport.
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I saw some UFO's late a night near The Luke Airforce Base (is that the name of it?) in Arizona in 1996.
Shooting stars ARE meteors. Its just that shooting stars don't land. What a dumb article.
ACTUAL SCIENCE CONTENT: Meteor showers occur when Earth's orbit passes through where a comet has passed; the mostly sand-grain particles of the comet's tail are what become the "shooting stars". It is also possible for larger chunks of the comet itself to fall off, and when these bowling ball or larger pieces fall into Earth's atmosphere, they create fireballs and firework-like explosions in the sky. But none of this activity creates meteorites – cometary material isn't dense enough to survive Earth's atmosphere and never makes it to the ground; all meteorites are the stony and/or metallic material of asteroids or other planets/bodies. Most meteorites aren't visible when they fall; the general rule of thumb is that if you see it falling from the sky, you won't find it on the ground, and if you found it on the ground, you probably wouldn't have seen it in the sky.
Thanks for adding some actual scientific content to this science-related blog article.
"See a shooting star tonight? It may be a piece of a comet."
"might be" a meteor? Come on, CNN.
It's Obama's fault.
Was that even an article? What the hell was that?
it was a meteorite, that's what it was!
i pooted...and it stinks
You might read something today!
I read a great deal, on many subjects, EVERY day.
So what are Dick and Jane up to lately?
Clearly this casts doubt on the global warming sensationalism!
STFU moron. I find it really annoying that when people like you who get their science from Right Wing Wacko Political Pundits (whom have no science education what so ever) go out and profess to the world that science is wrong. If you have nothing to contribute to the advancement of science in these comments, then stick you head in the sand by reading the Blief Blog and succofcate already.
Sorry, I mean to say Suffocate.
But you're going to stick with "Blief"?
Brian I think you might want to get your humor levels checked out. I think you might need a supplement or something.
Pray, tell us what YOU contributed to the advancement of science you hypocrite. btw – "what so ever" is one word... i.e. 'whatsoever'; and your use of "whom' is incorrect to boot. You should have used "who". 'Who' is subjective. 'Whom' is objective; and YOU'RE talking about education? What a laugher! Now YOU STFU, ES&D!
Geez! No Humor on the Science Blog! Stop it! Wacko! 🙂
I think it just casts doubt on Brian's good sense.
I saw a shooting star once in Arizona. I told my boyfriend and he did not believe me.
Why not? It's not like they're rare. Any given night, if you stare at the sky long enough, you can probably see one. It's just the really bright ones that are rare.
" It's just the really bright ones that are rare."
Meteors or boyfirends?
Most meteors burn up very quickly, he should've believed you unless the shooting star you saw was Robert Blake.
We had a bright, green trail meteor over I-95 near Philadelphia, about 7 years ago. It was moving west to east and broke up rapidly over New Jersey.
I've saw PLENTY over the years, that was the first green one I ever saw though.
Green tint means the excited electrons are reacting to the oxygen in the atmophere, just sayin
Or the aliens onboard have combusted.
Green means lots of copper in that meteorite. You know, copper based blood in the aliens. Like Spock.
Yoda was green too.
I saw hundreds of shooting stars when I lived in Arizona. The skies were much clearer then, before Phoenix gained about 4 million people and became the fifth largest city in the country. Also saw quite a few in Colorado, when the night skies were not cloudy. They are beautiful. I also saw a UFO while I was in the service, in San Diego, along with several hundred other Marines. THAT was quite a sight. Still don't know what it was.
That's no meteor...that's a space station!
Chewie, get us out of here!
You've made my day. Ok, you've actually made my day about 5 times on this one idiot article.
"You will go to the Dagabah system, there you will learn yoga..."
It's like the song Particle man. If a star fell into Earth's atmosphere, it would be more like Earth's atmosphere falling into the star! WHEN HE'S UNDERWATER DOES HE GET WET? OR DOES THE WATER GET HIM INSTEAD? NOBODY KNOWS... PARTICLE MAN.
You make no sense. Stars are gas, meteors are dust and ice.
Also, Istanbul is NOT in Constantinople.....therefore Constantinople is NOT in Istanbul.
Haha that was too confusing? Let me simplify.
Stars are VERY BIG. Earth's atmosphere is VERY SMALL. BOTH are made of GAS. BIG things like stars have a BIGGLER gravitational pull than LITTLE things like Earth's Atmosphere. So Earth's Atmosphere would be PULLED more into the STAR than the other way around.
You see, it was a JOKE commenting on the headline's implied idea that falling stars are NOT USUALLY Meteors, which is inaccurate. Meteors, which you were quick to point out, are SMALL SOLID OBJECTS that actually CAN FALL into Earth's atmosphere.
Now, if you want me to go onto 1980s pop culture and a band called They Might Be Giants...
Make any sense yet? Sheesh!
Nope, still not getting it. Hmmm, maybe more explanation? lmao, see, I can be sarcastic and "irronical" too 😉
Ok so my reaction to your irony was misguided because you were trying to be funny too and I just overreacted. Got it! Whoops. 🙂
Saw-right lol, I'm a slap happy tired and bored scientist sitting at my computer at work, trolling the science blog lol, but that was a pretty good explanation btw.
Cool a real scientist here? Keep up the good fight!
Also now totally humbled that I tried to school a scientist on science...
They Might Be Giants have a more recent song called "What is a Shooting Star?".
A shooting star is not a star
Is not a star at all
A shooting star's a meteor
That's heading for a fall
A shooting star is not a star
Why does it shine so bright?
The friction as it falls through air
Produces heat and light
A shooting star or meteor
Whichever name you like
The minute it comes down to earth
It's called a meteorite
Most retarded title ever. It's like saying "See a Nissan, it might be a car!"
Thats exactly what I thought! I was like "aren't they ALL meteors...?" Unless the writer had some strange A is equal to B, and B was equal to C, but C is not always equal to A nonsense floating around their head.
Far more likely is that the person who write the headline had a hard vacuum in their head, where knowledge of science should be.
CNN seems to have gotten rid of all scientific experts that they once retained. As is evidenced by their lousy science coverage overall, their interviewing of physicians about nuclear reactor operations and calling in Bill Nye the science guy, who didn't know that boron was used to poison a nuclear reactor, NOT cesium-137.
I'll be watching the skies from the hot tub.
That sounds like the best idea for viewing! 🙂
That's not a meteor, that's chunk of hash, and yes they do fall from the sky.
Yeah, that headline is full of derp.
Interesting front page headline: "See a shooting star? It might be a meteor." What ELSE would it be? Other than the far less common space debris coming in.
What did CNN do? Go to the home for the mentally disabled and hire their headline writers from there because they work cheaper?!
Sure blame it on the innocent. You're the dumb ignorant Ahole wanting to blame the mentally handicap. Shut the F up. Dumb A$$
No, I blame the management for hiring idiots to write for the populace.
And as I have the right to free speech, I'll not shut up.
Yeah...this sounds like you're blaming management. Carma...what goes around comes around.
"What did CNN do?Go to the home for the mentally disabled and hire their headline writers from there because they work cheaper?!
Ignorant Dumb A$$
Such a mature response! First, the word is spelled Karma. Not Carma.
Second, who ELSE do you blame for lousy, inaccurate and idiotic headlines, the janitor?
The management leads failures, not the lower level employees.
And to be brutally honest, I actually HEARD that phrase from some senior managers.
Personally, I'll hire the mentally disabled at a FAIR wage, not underpaying someone because they're disabled.
Please refrain from using logic and trying to make sense when commenting on these blogs because there are too many dumb a$$e$ reading them and get offended when words and complete sentences are being used. Including CNN!
Right? That's like saying, "See a car? Might be an automobile!" Hurrrrrrr.....
Asteroid – Rock in outer space
Meteor – Rock in Earth atmosphere
Meteorite – Rock that makes it to Earth's surface
Star – a huge ball of exploding burning gas, many times the size of Earth.
Earth- where I keep all my stuff
Lmao! La la la la la lah la la la la lahSing, sing a song, sing out loud, sing out strong....lmao nice 🙂
Star – massive ball of ionized gas, called plasma, that typically has nuclear fusion occurring in the core.
Naked singularity – Politician of any nation.
v4gina – something i like a lot. A LOT!
Who are you trying to convince? Me? Or yourself?
My ball sac, ...that which gives life.
Does the headline-writer believe that we are usually seeing actual stars falling onto the earth, but tonight we may see some meteors mixed in with them? Academic standards in this poor country are at an all-time low.
Could easily be a piece of space junk. We see them all the time in Central Texas. Why on Earth would anyone get mad at CNN for a catchy headline. Do you folks not have a job somewhere? Good Grief.
runswithbeer, is that your indian name? Yes, I'm bored at work....
Runs, many don't. There's a depression going on, ya know?
Seriously though, space debris is FAR less common than meteors, ESPECIALLY at this time of the year.
Meanwhile, if we saw a star enter the atmosphere, it would be a miracle, as the planet would've LONG been disrupted to dust by tidal effects.
It's a lousy, IF catchy headline.
"See a shooting star? Blame the Perseids." THAT is accurate, catchy and even a touch on the dry humorous side.
A-ha! I know who you are! You're that weird FBI guy from last season's Survivor aren't you??
No, CNN just wants to make sure that we don't try and catch any and put them in our pocket.
Gonna stand outside with my mouth open, see what happens
"Read a headline that leaves you stupefied? Might be CNN.com"
I'd not qualify my response THAT way. Agast is more like it.
That someone could claim they have higher education could write that...
In addition to posting here, why not follow the 'Contact Us' link, which is probably actuallyread by someone at CNN.com?
Perhaps after I calm down a bit, else it would simply be a stream of insults at their lack of intelligence.
"See a shooting star? Blame the comet Swift-Tuttle." THAT would even be acceptable and accurate.
Crap, I missed that data on the comet. It's going to come rather close to Earth in 4479 with an unacceptably large impact probability of 1 X 10-6 probability of impact. Time to open the summer house on Europa... 😉
Glad to see I'm not the only one who was shocked by the headline )))
Richard Simmons has done a lot of good for a lot of people during his career. Who cares if he's gay?
What does Richard Simmons have to do with meteors? You must be multi-tasking.
Are you lost? Did you just wake up in front of your keyboard and start typing?
You can go to IGN for a written walkthrough, but I would recommend going to Youtube and you can get an onscreen walkthrough which I like better because I can instantly turn it off and not be exposed to spoilers.
OOOOoooo, you're high, my bad....carry on
omg, he's here from the future. And has too many tabs open at once.
That's usually what they are CNN but I have seen some conclusive exceptions...
I hope many asteroids will hit all over the Middle East that help reduction the islam/muslim population to zero to make the world peace!
I hope a meteor crashes in your home so that we don't have to deal with you. One less scumbag
1. You want an actual ASTEROID to hit the Earth? You do realize that such an event would likely reduce the WORLD population to zero, don't you? Or would the Cloud-Man with the Sky Cake make sure his followers were spared? (Of course, then you have to worry about which Cloud-Man is the real one; what if it's the one that speaks Arabic?).
2. You're the stupidest person alive.
Joe Doe: you are an idiot but we think you say stupid stuff for the negative attention.
I hoe you and your entire family does in a terrorist attack.
So much stupid in one single statement. Ignore the much larger Indonesian population. Ignore the substantial overall Asian population. All to wish ill upon one ethnic group, not realizing that any such impact would be an extinction level event for the entire planet.
Indeed, those NOT impacted would suffer horribly and starve to death.
Of interest, Libya has had several known impacts and Saudi has had several as well. The most recent being EXTREMELY hard to locate repeatedly, due to shifting sand and the destruction of the equipment by the environment.
Of other odd trivia, the infamous Damascus steel swords were forged from steel originating in India, from a bolide impact.
You're bored at work too huh?
The bit of trivia about Damascus steel was one of the more enlightening things I have read on this message board. Thank you for that.
pretty sure what Joe D'oh was really trying to type was "derrrp", but unfortunately it ended up much more stupid.
Sounds like the author thinks shooting stars are, uh, Shooting Stars. lolZ
So there is a chance it might actually be a shooting star! Lemme grab my SPF 10,000,000...
CORRECT. It MIGHT be a METEOR. Or it MIGHT be a DALEK INVASION FLEET. But probably a meteor.....WE will GO with THAT.
BE CAUTIOUS DALEK THAY. IT MIGHT BE CYBERMEN. OR A BLUE POLICE BOOOOOX....
I think it is just a Gua'uld attack thwarted by the SG1 team
Wow, dumbest headline of the year material CNN.
We are considering this headline as the most hapless and inept headline of 2011. Vote for it on our website.
You have my vote.
Actually, this headline is par for the course for a CNN science article.
PS I just noticed that the word "science" violates the i before e except after c rule.
Thomas Dolby will be in shortly to sing about it.
dont waste your time.. unless you are out in the country with no ambient light, you wont see a thing.
Thats where I live, and after years of going out at 2am hopeing to see a 4th of July like show. I gave up
after seeing 2-4 meteors and hour.....
Raven, you also need to be looking at the right quadrant of the sky. But sometimes it's really slow or doesn't pick up until 3am.
When I was in the Middle East, I tried to see the showers, as the ambient light was FAR less.
Unfortunately, the dust was too high for every shower. 🙁
Defund NASA. We don't need them to post pictures online. We can view them ourselves in the night sky.
Actually the city-dwelling population of this country (and this planet) cannot see them. Not everyone is going to have the time to rush miles out into the country to look at the Perseids. And astronomy is pretty much the only thing that NASA does well anymore.
On second thought I stand corrected. Universities and observatories also regularly post beautiful pictures of phenomena. Screw NASA. Invest in SpaceX!
Without NASA, we can just get them from the Chinese and Russians. They haven't wussed out and stopped their space programs.
J5, you obviously have no concept of how much you rely on technology that is the result of NASA. The simple fact that you entered your moronic (tea bagger?) post on a computer connected to a high speed internet connection should tell you something. It's like people complaining about engineers ... without whom nothing around you would exist.
Feel a drop of rain? Might be falling water.
This is pretty much the dumbest headline ever.
My thoughts exactly.
Very much agreed.
The home page headline says a shooting star "might" be a meteor. Huh? Unless it's a piece of falling space junk, it IS a meteor, and if it reaches the ground, it becomes a meteorite. Duih! Who wrote that idiotic headline?
I thought the same thing. I was wondering if something had changed to make them say "might". But as it turns out, no, CNN is just stupid.
Yeah, what you said. I was practically rolling on the floor after reading that headline.
Shari, I had the exact same thought. I clicked the headline to find out what the heck else they thought it could be. Tomorrow's headline: "See a large greenish statue in New York Harbor with one arm raised? It might be the Statue of Liberty."
"See a large hairy object on top of your shoulders? It might just be your head!"
Absolutely agree. Apologies for stereotyping; but is this possibly an indication that journalist majors don't do particularly well in science related subjects?
Apparently the writer thought Hollywood movie actors firing guns were going to fall out of the sky, and also some meteors.
If the next big rock came to send us the way of the dinosaurs, I'd be totally cool with it.
I'll 2nd that. Just without the pain and suffering. Make it instant.
Not me. Sounds like all you guys have to live for is TV.
Once you don't exist anymore, you can't exactly miss not existing, bub.
"Once you don't exist anymore, you can't exactly miss not existing, bub." Run that by me again? Maybe you meant "miss existing" instead of not? Anyway, how do you know I wouldn't miss existing if I didn't exist anymore? I got a lot to exist for. I might come back as a ghost and be all "Wooo, I'm haunting you."
There's no such thing as ghosts, gods, magic, etc.
In Reality Calling's world there's also no such thing as humor.
Reality, you say that now, but wait until I come back and haunt you and you'll be singing a different tune.