Spectacular Meteor Shower and Rare Planet Alignment Coincide
The annual Perseid meteor shower is already putting on an excellent show, and the celestial fireworks have yet to peak. The main event is tonight. Meanwhile, a delightfully tight configuration of planets graces the evening sky.
Rarely has there been a better time to go out, look up and enjoy easy-to-watch cosmic spectacles.
Across the Northern Hemisphere, the best time to watch the Perseid meteor shower will be tonight through the pre-dawn hours local time Friday, regardless of where you live. Weather permitting, patient skywatchers could see a shooting star every minute or so.
The Perseids are always reliable and sometimes rather spectacular. Only bad weather or bright moonlight can put a damper on the event, and this year the moon — a thin crescent that will set right after the sun — is not a factor.
Astronomers are expecting the best, and skywatchers around the globe are seeing encouraging, sometimes explosive signs. Several of the Perseids' characteristic fireballs and exploding meteors, called bolides, have been spotted... http://news.yahoo.com/s/space/20100812/sc_space/spectacularmeteorshowerandrareplanetalignmentcoincide