RE - Members of the public will have a unique opportunity to observe an astronomical highlight of 2009 as the Earth passes through the debris of comet 'Swift-Tuttle, according to a Press release issued by The Society of the Sun on Saturday.
Ranging from dust and pebble sized pieces to small space rocks, when this debris enters Earths atmosphere, it begins to burn up and produces the spectacular Perseid meteor shower which can be observed, even from our light polluted cities. Meteor showers occur annually whenever the configuration of Earth in the solar system brings Earth into the debris stream of comets and are named after the constellation from which they seem to originate - in this case the constellatio of Perseus.
Any person who can manage to observe the night sky on the 12th and 13th of August may be able to see up to sixty meteors an hour as the meteor shower peaks on these days. It is advised to lie down and look directly upwards and letting the eyes wander freely towards the northeast. Astronomers use a technique called averted vision which allows them to see better through the peripheral vision around the corner of their eyes.
Observing events are taking place globally to mark the passage of the Perseids in 2009 which has been hailed as the International Year of Astronomy by UNESCO in celebration of the 400th anniversary of Galileo Galilees first observation through the telescope. Professional and amateur astronomers worldwide are gathering to observe the meteor shower and perhaps make a wish on a shooting star.
One such event is taking place at the Jati Umra headquarters of The Society of the Sun, which is helping people to discover the Sun and Earths place in the Universe.