Meteor Showers Over the Grand Canyon and Whitewater Rafting with Arizona River Runners

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Stargazing in the Grand Canyon is well - grand! The complete absence of light (except for the moon at times) enables you to see the stars at their most glorious. When the last camper has gone to bed, and all is quiet you are blanketed by a night sky bursting with stars, stars so bright you want to reach out and touch them. The night sky in the Canyon is indescribable; at certain times of the year you may even see meteor showers.

The Grand Canyon is the perfect location not only for stargazing, but to behold a meteor shower as well. Small fragments of cosmic debris entering the earth's atmosphere at extremely high speeds produce meteor showers. Each time a comet swings by the sun, it produces large amounts of small particles, which will eventually spread out along the entire orbit of the comet to form a meteoroid "stream." Depending on where the Earth's orbit and the comet's orbit intersect, meteors appear to fall from a particular place in the sky for a few days, maybe within the neighborhood of a constellation, thereby giving the meteor shower its name.

Perseid meteors will appear to "rain" into the atmosphere from the constellation Perseus, which rises in the northeast around 10 p.m. in mid-August. At its peak, the shower could produce up to 100 meteors per hour. The moonlight may decrease the brilliance of the view of some of the meteors; even so, you should still expect to see a large number of bright meteors. This year's shower should peak on the night of August 12 and the morning of the 13th, The thin, crescent moon will be out of the way early, setting the stage for a potentially spectacular show. You may be able to see some meteors any time from July 23 - August 22. The radiant point for this shower will be in the constellation Perseus. For best viewing, look to the northeast after midnight.

Arizona River Runners offers a number of rafting trips during this "meteor peak season." To see a meteor shower is awe-inspiring! And what better way to experience a meteor shower than camping out on the banks of the Colorado River on a rafting trip?

Arizona River Runners

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