Free eBook: Shooting Stars

Sky & Telescope's newest eBook takes a peek into the history, art, and science of meteor-watching. Download FREE with registration.

Shooting Stars eBook
Monica Young
August is the month for meteor showers. The Perseids should have a good showing under dark skies, and minor meteor showers join the fray. To help make the most of your meteor-watching experience, the editors of Sky & Telescope compiled a free eBook that will introduce you to the history, art, and science of meteor-watching. Shooting Stars is free with registration.

Even though the Perseids are a yearly highlight for astronomers now, prior to 1837 they weren't officially recognized. "Discovering the Perseid Meteors" by Mark Littmann tells the story of the detective work by multiple independent observers that went into discovering the famous mid-August meteors.

"Deciphering Meteor-ese" by Paul Deans spells out the difference between meteor, meteoroid, meteorite, and all the other look-alike terms that relate to meteors.

Any dark night can show you a meteor or two, and observing them can be lots more fun with a few tips in hand. "The Basics of Meteor-Observing" is senior S&T editor Alan MacRobert's essential guide to watching and counting meteors.

Alan MacRobert also guides us to this year's Perseid meteor shower in "Dark Nights for the Perseids." The dark late-night skies of August 11-12 and 12-13 will be perfect for meteor-watching. And in addition to the Perseids, a couple minor meteor showers will add to the count as well.

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