Google Doodle celebrates meteor shower

August 12, 2014 • 11:47 am

Today’s animated Google Doodle, one of the nicest I’ve seen, celebrates the Perseid Meteor Shower. Sadly, I’ve always been a city boy and have never seen it, but I’m sure many of you have. From the animation, the meteors appear as quickly-disappearing streaks of light.

As Time Magazine notes, you have to move quickly:

If you head to Google’s homepage today, you’ll be treated to an animated video featuring meteors darting across a beautiful, clear night sky. The animation celebrates the Perseid Meteor Shower, which happens every year in August. (Heads up, stargazers: It peaks tonight.)

Click on the screenshot below to get to the animated doodle, then hit the arrow.

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 12.32.36 PM



13 thoughts on “Google Doodle celebrates meteor shower

  1. I live in the country and I’ve seen a couple of Perseids but I think you either have stay up really lake or get up really early to see them, partly because our skies are so bright this time of year. I’m sure I’ve been sleeping during the good stuff.

    1. That’s true for any meteor shower. The show only gets going after midnight (or 1 AM daylight savings).

      The reason is that the earth is facing forwards along its orbit from midnight until noon and backwards from noon until midnight. To visualize this, consider that the earth both revolves and orbits in a counter-clockwise direction when viewed from the north pole.

      The full moon is going to wash them out this year, unfortunately, and we’ve been enjoying an unseasonal marine layer in southern California.

      1. We’ve also had rain here. I’m waiting for a nice clear, dark night to take some pictures of the sky but even on clear nights, I’m too tired & want to sleep instead.

  2. Well, I haven’t always been a city boy, but I live in north-west Europe and it is my experience that meteor showers are almost invariably accompanied by meteorological showers. And that looks like being the case again tonight. (And on the rare occasions they aren’t I have important meetings the following day which render it unwise to stay up past midnight.) One day, one day …

  3. I live in the boonies and love watching the Perseids. And as luck would have it today is the first day in a couple weeks that it’s raining here, and the forecast says through the night. Damn the bad luck. When I lived in Wyoming at 7,000 feet, 24 miles from the nearest (small) city, the Perseids were absolutely spectacular. My wife and I would blow up our inflatable camping mats, lay down and stare up at them for hours.

  4. I thought we were going to be the only ones trying to catch a peak of the shower late last night. But, when my girlfriend and I sneaked onto the beach at around 1:30am, there were about a half dozen other people standing in the sand looking straight up. We didn’t spy anything, other than the biggest looking moon I think I’ve ever seen. I have doubts as to whether we’ll get to see anything tonight either, light pollution combined with the super-moon are making stargazing difficult, but we’ll be back out there anyway.

  5. We were at the drive-in movie the other day, and saw a couple meteors just over the screen as the movie (Guardians of the Galaxy) started. So I would watch the movie, watch the stars for more meteors, watch the movie….

    1. Drive-in? Wow…those don’t exist around here anymore. I love Drive-in movies!!! GOTG was an awesome movie IMO. But I collect comics so love just about anything from Marvel or DC.

  6. I’m not sure I’ve seen the Perseids, but a decent meteor shower once.

    We were 3 boys and a young woman helping to lead a youth group out on Åland (the archipelago between Sweden and Finland), out canoeing in the night. In fact plotting how 2 of us were going to elope with our tents, since we wanted to have no more of it. (An overly authoritarian leader.) So it was quite romantic – scheming behind the leaders back, having a shared crush on the woman, and looking up at the night sky light show – for a long while. 1-2 meteors/minute, as I recall.

    With the woman’s and the remaining boy’s support (what a dog!) we did hike home. First boat out, in the morning hours. Yawn!

  7. I strongly recommend viewing the Perseids the way I once did — from the bottom of the Grand Canyon, on a river raft camping trip.

    I simply cannot express in words the mind-boggling difference between “far enough outside town that they aren’t completely washed out by city lights” and seeing the whole sky full, literally full, of stars, nebulae, and as a bonus, meteors!

    1. I would love to experience that! I did once camp with a friend in the Gila Wilderness and the stars were indeed mind-boggling. Although we were freezing, we could not bring ourselves to put the fly up over the tent.

  8. For a few years I stopped watching TV and reading newspapers. One night while working third shift, I was walking around the parking lot and I saw numerous orange flashes in the night sky. I thought I was losing it. I went inside the building and all of the employees were out on the deck watching the meteor shower. Whew!

  9. I’ve been fortunate enough to see meteor showers several times. The best ever was when we were camped near a lake and went down to the beach late at night. Everyone was oohing and aahing over the spectacular display, especially some kids that had never really noticed the night sky. Wow!

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