Free eBook: Shooting Stars

Sky & Telescope's newest ebook takes a peek into the history, art, and science of meteor-watching. Download now!

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.

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 provides a general guide us to the annual Perseid meteor shower in "Seeing the Perseids." And in addition to the Perseids, a couple minor meteor showers add to the meteor count in August as well.

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