We’re Hiring

We’re Hiring
Share your enjoyment and passion of feeding the birds. Help others to connect and enjoy that same enthusiasm as you do.
We are looking for sales associates who can help us help others “enjoy nature in your own backyard “.
- retail experience an asset but not necessary
- ability to lift 20 lb bags of seed for our customers
- positive, energetic, enthusiastic and willing to learn
- flexible schedule and able to work weekends
We provide training so you can provide informed advice about feeding the birds and our quality products.
Stop by and talk to us or drop off a resume.

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Clear Skies - Perseid Meteor Shower and the Planets

Once again, the days are getting shorter, but that means we can enjoy the night sky earlier!

The Perseid Meteor Shower:
 media hype vs realistic expectations

The Perseid meteor shower is so named because the meteors seem to originate around the constellation Perseus, which is low in the NE in the evening.  As a reminder, a “meteor shower” occurs when Earth passes through the trail of dust left by a passing comet, in this case Swift-Tuttle in 1992.  The tails of comets are composed of gas and dust that is released from the comet as it interacts with the Sun’s solar wind.  The dust follows more or less the original path of the comet, spreading out somewhat with time and continuing to fall slowly towards the Sun, so every year we pass through that trail of dust around the same date.  The dust trail can last hundreds of years.  A meteor, then, is simply a small speck of that dust burning up as it passes into Earth’s atmosphere at extremely high speed.

The annual Perseid meteor shower peaks the evening of Monday, August 12, and you can expect fair activity the day before and the day after. There may be some lesser activity a few days either side of that, but it will be less than half the maximum of the peak.

Unfortunately, news sites want to excite you and keep you on their pages.  To do so means overstating things.  Their comment that you could see up to 100 meteors per hour is under absolute ideal conditions, which almost never occur, in particular since an almost full Moon will be lighting the sky this year, limiting you to seeing only the few brightest meteors.  As an aside, in all my life, only during one spectacular night did I ever see 100 meteors an hour.

All that said, it is still worthwhile to have a look.  To enjoy the Perseids, find as large a patch of open sky as you can, away from house lights or streetlights.  Lay back on a blanket or lounger, and just watch the sky with your naked eyes, preferably looking away from the Moon.  Give your eyes a few minutes to adapt to the slightly darker night sky.

The Moon and Planets

A crescent Moon is now visible in the west southwest before and after sunset.

On Friday, August 9, a gibbous Moon - that is one that is more than half lighted - will be just to the upper left of bright Jupiter.  You can’t mistake Jupiter, as it is the brightest star-like object in that part of the sky.

Saturn is not very bright right now, but you can pick it out on Sunday, August 11, when it will be just to the upper left of an almost full Moon.  It will be brighter than the stars around it, so you should be able to identify it.

If you are up just before 6 a.m. and have a clear horizon to the east, you may see Mercury very low in the sky - again, it will be brighter than other stars in the area.  It will be easiest to see within the next week or so.

Clear skies.


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