The Perseid Meteor Shower Is Here, And Might Foretell Humanity’s Extinction
“The Perseid meteor shower, even with a near-full Moon to contend with, should be one of the year’s most spectacular meteor showers. When you look up, scope out the northwest skies after sunset (from the northern hemisphere) and look for fast-moving streaks radiating away from near the “W” in Cassiopeia. A few dozen bright streaks per hour, even in the worst-case scenario, should still await you.
But as you watch the skies, keep in mind that there’s an enormous comet responsible for this light show, and it returns every 133 years. In just a handful of orbits, it will come closer to Earth than any reasonable person should be comfortable with. Even if it’s not Swift-Tuttle, it’s only a matter of time before an object just like it comes for us, threatening the extinction of humanity and much more. We have a choice: we can let it come, or we can be ready. Extinction by comet strike is, for the first time ever, no longer an inevitability. We just have to invest in our own cosmic safety to avoid this catastrophic fate.”
When a meteor shower comes our way, you likely look up at the sky and marvel. After all, why wouldn’t you? It’s one of the night sky’s most beautiful and natural sights. In the case of the Perseids, whose peak is just around the corner, it’s the most spectacular show of the year. Even when there’s a near-full Moon to contend with, like this year, it’s still worth taking a look at one of nature’s most wondrous occurrences.
Too bad that this one, in particular, may foretell the demise of not only humanity, but the overwhelming majority of species on Earth. The comet that created the Perseids is still coming, and it’s more dangerous than ever. Find out why.
Your Viewing Guide To The Best Meteor Shower In Years: 2018’s Perseids
“The Perseids originate from Comet Swift-Tuttle, which itself is the single most dangerous object known to humanity. The nucleus of the comet is 26 kilometers across, and it takes 133 years to make a complete ellipse in its orbit. It contains nearly 30 times the kinetic energy of the asteroid strike that wiped out the dinosaurs, and based on an upcoming interaction with Jupiter, has about a 1-in-a-million chance of colliding with Earth in the year 4479.
But this comet has been orbiting for thousands of years, making the Perseids the most reliable meteor shower year-after-year. This year, 2018, there are four factors that will come together to make it the greatest astronomical show on Earth.”
This year, 2018, the Perseid meteor shower peaks on the nights of August 11-12 and 12-13, which happen to coincide with Friday and Saturday nights. The night of the 11th also coincides with a new Moon, meaning that conditions will be ideal for dark skies, which means the best viewing for meteors. We very frequently say, “the best things in life are free,” but we rarely feel that it’s true. The second weekend of August, it really is true.
Come learn where these meteors come from, plus get some excellent tips on how to get the best view, and see the most meteors, for yourself!
The Comet That Created The Perseids Might Bring An End To Humanity
“Every object in our Solar System that takes the plunge from out beyond Neptune to our inner reaches, where the rocky planets lie, will become a comet. As it nears the Sun, its ices melt, creating the tails we associate with them, and also creating a debris path that can create meteor showers if they cross Earth’s orbit. For thousands of years, the most consistent, spectacular meteor shower has been the Perseids, created by Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle.
At its incredibly large size (26 kilometers across) and speed, it contains nearly 30 times the energy of the asteroid strike that wiped out the dinosaurs. Over the next few thousand years, it will come perilously close to Earth. If Jupiter — which it also passes by — gives it just the slightest gravitational kick, it could be flung into the Sun, ejected from the Solar System, or hurtled directly into our world. If this were to happen, and it’s a real possibility some 2400 years from now, it would mark the largest mass extinction our world has seen in hundreds of millions of years.”
Enjoying the Perseid meteor shower this year, as perhaps you do every August? As you look up, the great cosmic show might have a lot more to offer than mere streaks of light, due to cometary debris brightly burning up in the Earth’s atmosphere. This year, Jupiter has slightly disturbed the debris stream, resulting in an increase in the number of meteors-per-hour, as the stream passes quite centrally through Earth’s location. Someday, unless we continue to get lucky, Jupiter just might have that same effect on the comet that spawned the Perseids: comet Swift-Tuttle. Only, instead of an enhanced shower, we’d get struck by this comet. With a top speed of 60 km/s and a size of 26 km in diameter, this would result in an impact 28 times more energetic than the impactor that wiped out the dinosaurs.
Comet Swift-Tuttle is the single most dangerous object known to humanity. Come enjoy our continued existence and learn about our possible future demise, while you still can!
How To Catch The Perseids And Beat The Almost-Full Moon
“The faintest meteors will be washed out; the brightest meteors will appear dimmer; the total rate of the shower’s peak, instead of about 100 meteors-per-hour, will be approximately halved. If you were hoping to get up early (or stay up very, very late) for a great view, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. Luckily for you, not only is the debris stream that creates the Perseids wide, but the views are quite good for a day or two before and after the peak.”
The full or almost-full Moon might be one of the most familiar sights in the night sky to those of us here on Earth, but it’s also the largest natural source of light pollution we have to contend with. The peak of this year’s Perseid meteor shower meant, if all things were equal, the best time to see the highest rate of meteors would be the pre-sunrise sky of August 12. But with a large gibbous Moon dominating the skies during that time, it’s actually one of the worst ways you can try and view the Perseids this year. Instead, go out when the skies are darkest: before the Moon rises just after the peak. Because of how wide the cometary debris stream that gives rise to the Perseids is, viewing the sky in the evening before the Moon rises on the 12th or even the 13th is a far safer bet.
Come get your fix of the great night sky views of August, just a week before the solar eclipse comes to your daytime skies!