The Sky is Falling: Perseids Meteor Shower Brings Change

Sep 3, 2013

It’s the end of August and the sky is falling. Jennifer Pemberton tells us why the Perseids meteor shower always brings change.

The 1833 Leonids meteor storm terrified early Americans, causing numerous revelations and changing of ways. It also caused intense scientific study of meteors that moved meteor showers out of folklore and into astronomy.

"When it comes to space, I like to pretend that I don’t know anything. I like to pretend that I’m seeing the night sky for the very first time and I try to understand what I’m seeing. When you think about it that way, it doesn’t seem so strange that meteor showers are scary. Like other uneducated people who came before me, it’s easy to see the phenomenon as fiery snowfall or projectiles in a cosmic war or dragons with long burning tails. Come to think of it, specks of dust burning up in our atmosphere is probably the least interesting explanation."