meteors

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PSB

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I have noticed that many of you have an added interest in meteors and I am wondering if you could explain further what exactly you study in regard to them, how easily they can be seen etc, and what is the information you gather used for (apart from making sure one is not headed in our direction of course :) ) <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>I have noticed that many of you have an added interest in meteors and I am wondering if you could explain further what exactly you study in regard to them, how easily they can be seen etc, and what is the information you gather used for (apart from making sure one is not headed in our direction of course :) ) <br />Posted by PSB</DIV><br /><br />Well since you asked.... <img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/content/scripts/tinymce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-laughing.gif" border="0" alt="Laughing" title="Laughing" /></p><p>This is Meteor Wayne.</p><p>So, what do I study? Well, primarily the activity profile of each shower. Meteor showers are caused by debris shed by comets that continue in orbits similar to that of the parent comet (actually, in a few cases asteroids are the parent).&nbsp; The debris forms what is called a meteor stream of particles on parallel paths, at least close to the earth's orbit. As the earth intersects the meteor stream, activity rises and then falls as we pass through. For some showers, like August's Perseids (from comet Swift Tuttle) that passage takes many weeks, from July 17 to about August 24th. In other cases like this year's spectacular Quadrantids, the bulk of the shower lasts less than a day. Depending on how the stream and the earth approach each other, speeds can be as low as 16 km/sec or so, up to the Leonids of November (parent comet Temple-Tuttle) which hit us head on at 71 km/sec or about 160,000 mph.</p><p>Some meteor streams have the closest approach to the sun (perihelion) inside earths orbit, so we can hit the stream twice. An example is Halley's comet, which produces a shower in early May, and late October.</p><p>How easy are they to see? Well there is a background level of meteors that come from any direction from streams that have been totally dispersed, These are called sporadic meteors. Under suburban skies rates range from 1 to 6 or 7 an hour, depending on the time of year. The big showers of the year can produce rates over 100 per hour under darker skies at the right time, such as the Perseids in August and Geminids in December. Most shower have highest rates in the early morning hours before dawn as we plow head on into them; a few are visible all night long.</p><p>The darker your skies, the more you can see, since there are many more faint meteors than bright ones.</p><p>The information I record is reported to the North American Meteor Network and American Meteor Society for profiles of what the average person can see. It also goes to the International Meteor Organization which collects worldwide high quality data to be used for scientific analysis. This information has allowed the Leonid storms (rates of thousands per hour) to be predicted with great accuracy during the last decade when combined with some superb mathematical modeling that's over my head. There are several other possible storm rate events coming up over the next few years.</p><p>One little know aspect is concerned with showers for which the parent object is unknown. The data collected allows us to search for the comets that might have produced them Since comet's orbits must come close to the earth either currently or in the past for a shwoer to be seen, it might help us&nbsp; detect a comet that we need to keep an eye on.</p><p>Hope that answers a few of your questions, and feel free to ask more. There are 3 showers that peak at the end of July, all with low rates and best observed from the southern hemisphere, and the famous Perseids start in July leading upto a peak on August 12th.</p><p>I'll post more about them as we get a little closer.</p><p>MW</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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PSB

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Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Well since you asked.... This is Meteor Wayne.So, what do I study? Well, primarily the activity profile of each shower. Meteor showers are caused by debris shed by comets that continue in orbits similar to that of the parent comet (actually, in a few cases asteroids are the parent).&nbsp; The debris forms what is called a meteor stream of particles on parallel paths, at least close to the earth's orbit. As the earth intersects the meteor stream, activity rises and then falls as we pass through. For some showers, like August's Perseids (from comet Swift Tuttle) that passage takes many weeks, from July 17 to about August 24th. In other cases like this year's spectacular Quadrantids, the bulk of the shower lasts less than a day. Depending on how the stream and the earth approach each other, speeds can be as low as 16 km/sec or so, up to the Leonids of November (parent comet Temple-Tuttle) which hit us head on at 71 km/sec or about 160,000 mph.Some meteor streams have the closest approach to the sun (perihelion) inside earths orbit, so we can hit the stream twice. An example is Halley's comet, which produces a shower in early May, and late October.How easy are they to see? Well there is a background level of meteors that come from any direction from streams that have been totally dispersed, These are called sporadic meteors. Under suburban skies rates range from 1 to 6 or 7 an hour, depending on the time of year. The big showers of the year can produce rates over 100 per hour under darker skies at the right time, such as the Perseids in August and Geminids in December. Most shower have highest rates in the early morning hours before dawn as we plow head on into them; a few are visible all night long.The darker your skies, the more you can see, since there are many more faint meteors than bright ones.The information I record is reported to the North American Meteor Network and American Meteor Society for profiles of what the average person can see. It also goes to the International Meteor Organization which collects worldwide high quality data to be used for scientific analysis. This information has allowed the Leonid storms (rates of thousands per hour) to be predicted with great accuracy during the last decade when combined with some superb mathematical modeling that's over my head. There are several other possible storm rate events coming up over the next few years.One little know aspect is concerned with showers for which the parent object is unknown. The data collected allows us to search for the comets that might have produced them Since comet's orbits must come close to the earth either currently or in the past for a shwoer to be seen, it might help us&nbsp; detect a comet that we need to keep an eye on.Hope that answers a few of your questions, and feel free to ask more. There are 3 showers that peak at the end of July, all with low rates and best observed from the southern hemisphere, and the famous Perseids start in July leading upto a peak on August 12th.I'll post more about them as we get a little closer.MW <br />Posted by MeteorWayne</DIV><br /><br />Thanks for that brilliant reply Wayne - you obviously enjoy your work!&nbsp; :)&nbsp;&nbsp; I had no idea that so many meteors could be seen, and on what seems, such a regular basis.&nbsp; My one and only experience was last year when I heard about the Perseids and went out one night to look.&nbsp; You must understand that I had never seen a meteor or even looked through a telescope (and still haven't :-( and so found the whole event just mouth-droppingly beautfiul and amazing.&nbsp; It seemed the less I actually looked, the more I saw (if that makes sense?!)&nbsp; I shall definitely make an effort to look more this summer.&nbsp; I was watching a programme last night about the birth of the Earth and there is one thing I am hoping you can answer for me.&nbsp; They were discussing the possibility of how water may have come to Earth and at one point mentioned a meteor that fell to earth at Tagish Lake in British Colombia.&nbsp; Apparently 20% of it was water and was of the same composition of&nbsp;which we find here.&nbsp; My&nbsp;immediate thought then was&nbsp;- how did the water come to be in the meteor and where did that water originally come from?&nbsp;&nbsp;Hoping you can enlighten me and thanks&nbsp;for your help so far. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Thanks for that brilliant reply Wayne - you obviously enjoy your work!&nbsp; :)&nbsp;&nbsp; I had no idea that so many meteors could be seen, and on what seems, such a regular basis.&nbsp; My one and only experience was last year when I heard about the Perseids and went out one night to look.&nbsp; You must understand that I had never seen a meteor or even looked through a telescope (and still haven't :-( and so found the whole event just mouth-droppingly beautfiul and amazing.&nbsp; It seemed the less I actually looked, the more I saw (if that makes sense?!)&nbsp; I shall definitely make an effort to look more this summer.&nbsp; I was watching a programme last night about the birth of the Earth and there is one thing I am hoping you can answer for me.&nbsp; They were discussing the possibility of how water may have come to Earth and at one point mentioned a meteor that fell to earth at Tagish Lake in British Colombia.&nbsp; Apparently 20% of it was water and was of the same composition of&nbsp;which we find here.&nbsp; My&nbsp;immediate thought then was&nbsp;- how did the water come to be in the meteor and where did that water originally come from?&nbsp;&nbsp;Hoping you can enlighten me and thanks&nbsp;for your help so far. <br />Posted by PSB</DIV></p><p>Thank you for the batting practice question!! <img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/content/scripts/tinymce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-smile.gif" border="0" alt="Smile" title="Smile" />&nbsp;You don't have to ask me twice to talk about my passion!</p><p>You are in the UK, correct? If so, I can tailor some Perseid advice for you. While I'll post general info on the Perseids in about 2 weeks, right beofre the activity starts, I'm more than willing to customize my advice for any location, all anyone has to do is ask, and tell me where you are. There's also a website that gives predictions for any location and sky conditions that I will provide a link to when I post the Perseid announcement.</p><p>The Tagish Lake meteorite was unusual, and it was at first suspected that it might have been from a comet rather than an asteroid; the last I heard that had been refuted. I don't recall the latest data. I correspond with Dr. Peter Brown, one of the scientists that actually recovered the meteorite's pieces. I'll ask him what the latest is. Since it's the weekend, I might not hear back till next week, but I will follow up on the question. It was a good one!</p><p>Meteor Wayne</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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PSB

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Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Thank you for the batting practice question!! &nbsp;You don't have to ask me twice to talk about my passion!You are in the UK, correct? If so, I can tailor some Perseid advice for you. While I'll post general info on the Perseids in about 2 weeks, right beofre the activity starts, I'm more than willing to customize my advice for any location, all anyone has to do is ask, and tell me where you are. There's also a website that gives predictions for any location and sky conditions that I will provide a link to when I post the Perseid announcement.The Tagish Lake meteorite was unusual, and it was at first suspected that it might have been from a comet rather than an asteroid; the last I heard that had been refuted. I don't recall the latest data. I correspond with Dr. Peter Brown, one of the scientists that actually recovered the meteorite's pieces. I'll ask him what the latest is. Since it's the weekend, I might not hear back till next week, but I will follow up on the question. It was a good one!Meteor Wayne <br />Posted by MeteorWayne</DIV><br /><br />The programme I was watching stated that the Tagish Lake meteor was from an asteroid and not a comet, but I can't wait to hear the 'official' outcome!&nbsp; I do appreciate you doing that, and I'm also looking forward to hearing where the water is from.&nbsp; I love&nbsp;the fact that for every question that is answered about the cosmos, another&nbsp;instantly appears to replace it.&nbsp; As for the Perseids I would love some customized advice.&nbsp; How and where should I pass my info on to you?&nbsp; Thanks for all your help MW. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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PSB

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Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Thank you for the batting practice question!! &nbsp;You don't have to ask me twice to talk about my passion!You are in the UK, correct? If so, I can tailor some Perseid advice for you. While I'll post general info on the Perseids in about 2 weeks, right beofre the activity starts, I'm more than willing to customize my advice for any location, all anyone has to do is ask, and tell me where you are. There's also a website that gives predictions for any location and sky conditions that I will provide a link to when I post the Perseid announcement.The Tagish Lake meteorite was unusual, and it was at first suspected that it might have been from a comet rather than an asteroid; the last I heard that had been refuted. I don't recall the latest data. I correspond with Dr. Peter Brown, one of the scientists that actually recovered the meteorite's pieces. I'll ask him what the latest is. Since it's the weekend, I might not hear back till next week, but I will follow up on the question. It was a good one!Meteor Wayne <br />Posted by MeteorWayne</DIV><br /><br />Any news from your man in the know MW&nbsp;?&nbsp; :)&nbsp; <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Any news from your man in the know MW&nbsp;?&nbsp; :)&nbsp; <br />Posted by PSB</DIV><br /><br />Not yet, it is Holiday time after all.... <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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PSB

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Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Not yet, it is Holiday time after all.... <br />Posted by MeteorWayne</DIV><br /><br />Apologies, I hadn't thought of that, as sadly no holiday over here :-( <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Apologies, I hadn't thought of that, as sadly no holiday over here :-( <br />Posted by PSB</DIV><br /><br />No problem. All I can do is ask, and share the answer when I get it.... <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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