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Perseids should fill sky tonight

Did anybody report a meteor landing just east of Ashland at 12:45 a.m. Monday morning? I saw a meteor come down while driving on Ashland Street. It was greenish-whitish. I don't know if it impacted anything or started a fire.

— Lane W., Medford

The National Weather Service in Medford didn't get a report of a meteor near Ashland, Lane, but meteorologists say not only are they not surprised but also that tonight should bring many more sightings.

The earth is in the midst of its annual Perseid meteor shower, caused when the earth's path around the sun runs it through a trail of dust particles from an old comet tail.

It happens every August and is a worldwide phenomenon, says weather service meteorologist Marc Spilde.

Spilde says the meteor shower will peak tonight. Other reports say that means you could see as many as 80 meteors an hour — if you can find a dark place, are willing to stare into space and the clouds cooperate by staying away. (Oh, and also try to look away from the full moon while you're meteor spying.)

The event is named after the constellation Perseus, where the comet originated, Spilde says.

Meteors can appear anywhere in the sky during this show, but watchers who get away from city lights will see the most tonight and again Wednesday. The largest concentration of meteors is supposed to arrive around midday Wednesday, but they are a bit tough to see amid bright sunshine and 95-degree weather.

To learn more about the Perseid meteor shower, visit www.spaceweather.com.

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