Categorized | Featured, Sci-Tech

Perseids meteor shower peaks Aug. 11

(Image courtesy of Gerrit van der Plas)

Special to Hawaii 24/7 by Gerrit van der Plas

The Perseids meteor shower will peak on the night between Sunday Aug. 11 and Monday, Aug. 12. The best time to see the Perseids from Hawaii in 2013 is between midnight and the early twilight (04:30 am) of Aug. 12.

Of the “Big three” (the Perseids, Quadrantids and Geminids), this weeks Perseids are the best to watch in 2013. The Quadrantids will – and the Geminids have – peaked close to a full moon, which makes even the brightest meteor shower difficult to observe.

The radiant of this shower (the place on the sky where the shooting stars seem to come from) lies in the constellation Perseus, which rises just after midnight over the north-eastern horizon (see image).

You may be able to see meteors any time through the night of Aug. 24.

The Perseids shooting stars are referred to as the “tears of St. Lawrence,” because the festival of this saint is very close (Aug. 10) to the peak of the Perseids.

The story of Laurentius (Lawrence), a Christian deacon, is the following: Laurentius was martyred by the Romans in 258 AD on an iron outdoor stove.

It was in the midst of this torture that Laurentius cried out: ‘I am already roasted on one side and, if thou wouldst have me well cooked, it is time to turn me on the other.’

In honor of this history, one very appropriate midnight-snack to take out is the typically Hawaiian “huli-huli” (or ‘turn-turn’ in Hawaiian) chicken.

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(Gerrit van der Plas is a frequent visitor to the Big Island and writes for, which promotes sustainable tourism and has a special focus on astronomical events on Hawaii.)

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