Google Doodle immortalizes the Perseid meteor shower
Monday, August 11, 2014, 11:12 AM -
Google regularly makes online works of art centred around their famous doodles, but today's entry is a little different.
It's focused on the Perseid meteor shower, and while Google has doodled them before, this year's version is a peaceful, soothing timelapse that plays right in your browser.
It was put together for doodle by Sophia Diao, who says it was inspired by long drives taken through national parks.
"One of my favourite road trip memories is driving up the Pacific Coast Highway near Big Sur and pulling over to observe the stars," she says. "The visual spectacle in front of you, combined with being "in the middle of nowhere," definitely evokes some type of feeling."
That tranquil score was composed by Niko Leiva.
"The track was inspired by the mountains of Bolivia, but I think its contemplative mood fits the sky just as nicely," Diao says.
The Perseids originate from the comet Swift-Tuttle as it passes through the inner solar system on its 133-year circuit of the sun. Its name derives from the constellation Perseus, which is where the meteors seem to be originating from to the casual observer, according to NASA.
They are visible from July 17 to August 24 this year, but the peak activity will be the nights of August 12 and August 13, with the best viewing times in the predawn hours.
Up to 100 meteors per hour will streak across the sky at those times, but this year, observers may struggle to catch a glimpse, thanks to another rare phenomenon: the slowly waning supermoon that has lit up the world's skies.
Aside from that lunar competition, active weather overnight may also spoil the party. Here's the Canada-wide outlook:
PERSEIDS VERSUS SUPERMOON: Watch the science behind these amazing celestial phenomena.