Hoping for Pouring Perseids

Listen 00:13:02

The Perseid Meteor Shower peaks this week, although a waxing moon presents a challenge for late night observing.

Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars are all above the horizon, but Mercury and Venus will be a terrific challenge to observe.

Speaking of viewing planets, a new system 1,100 light years away might be an intriguing one to observe. Kepler 80’s 5 planets are all huddled very close to their star. As a result, they have extremely short years (orbital periods). Their respective orbits take just 1, 3.1, 4.6, 7.1, and 9.5 days! Also, four of them all return to the same position relative to each other every 27 days. This means that the planets line up every 27 days. The four are all larger than Earth (4-7x) and are rocky. Two may even have hydrogen/helium atmospheres.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.