The first big meteor shower of the year is almost here. The 12th August is the annual maximum of the Perseids but the shower can be seen for some time either side of that date and it is worth looking out for them from the evening of 11th through to the morning of 13th August. This year, the Moon will set at early evening, leaving a dark sky for theshow. The Perseids tend to strengthen in number as late night deepens into midnight, and typically produce the most meteors in the wee hours before dawn. These meteors are often bright and frequently leave persistent trains. This year, the maximum background activity is expected to reach ZHR = 110-120. Besides that, the Earth is expected to encounter a quite dense 441 trail fragment, which could increase the ZHR by 10-20.
After a tremendous success in 2009, the Twitter Meteorwatch will continue in 2010 with a few extra ways to participate. Apart from including #meteorwatch hash tag in your tweets, this year you will be able to add photos to the meteorwatch gallery* and see the meteor activity observed by other around the world using the meteorwatch map* (still under construction). Below is the long awaited Meteorwatch 2010 Trailer created by Adrian West / @VirtualAstro.
* … both of which are the reason I have not written a blog post in three weeks