August 11, 2009

One of the best things about night hot tub soaking is the chance to look up at the stars. Many of our Olympic Hot Tub Company customers keep telescopes by their tub to get a magnified view of the heavens and tell us that they have a new appreciation for star gazing since purchasing a hot tub.  A few minutes spent on the excellent website from the UK Astronomy Now Online will give you an idea of what’s going on in the night sky. Tonight look upward to the northeast for one of the most spectacular celestial shows of the year. The Perseid meteor shower will be peaking. Read on!

If you’ve every wished on a shooting star, here’s your chance to make lots of wishes. Meteors are the result of small particles entering the Earth’s atmosphere at high speeds, around 60 kilometers per second in the case of the Perseid shower, which results from the Earth passing through from the tail of Comet Swift-Tuttle, last in the vicinity of the Earth in 1992. Meteors appear as brief streaks of light flashing across the sky, and unlike many astronomical phenomena, are best seen with the naked eye, rather than through a telescope or binoculars.

The best time to watch is between midnight and dawn Wednesday. Forecasters say the best stretch could come between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. PDT Some Perseids might be visible late Tuesday night, and Wednesday night into Thursday morning could prove worthwhile, too. Meteor forecasting is still an unpredictable science, however, so the best bet for anyone truly interested in spotting shooting stars is to get in as much observing time as possible from around midnight tonight, Tuesday, until dawn Wednesday, and if you miss that show, try the same time frame Wednesday evening into Thursday morning. Meteors should be visible in the pre-dawn hours, weather permitting, all around the Northern Hemisphere.

So take a late soak in your Hot Spring Spa tonight and look skyward, make those wishes and hope they come true. This could be the start of a whole new hobby: hot tub astronomy.

Note on the photo above: Brian Emfinger photographed this early Perseid meteor shower fireball, with a smoke trail, from Ozark, Arkansas just after midnight on Sunday, July 26, 2009. Credit: Brian Emfinger, used with permission (more photos: View related photos

SANUM PER AQUA. Latin for Health through Water.