Perseid Meteor Shower

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markj_87

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You're certainly in a geographical position to see it, but as TFWThom said, the near-full moon might make this a disappointing shower. And depending on how close you are to London, the light pollution might make it doubly bad.<br /><br />The first meteor shower I ever witnessed was the Persied shower of last year. There was no moon all night, the sky was perfectly clear, and I live in the English countryside far from any real light pollution. I was so impressed that I went on to catch the Orionids, Epsilon Taurids, Leonids, Geminids, Quadrantids and June Lyrids that followed.<br /><br />If this is your first shower to watch, you might find it disappointing and it might put you off watching any more. Maybe you should wait for the Geminids in December unless you're really keen.<br /><br />But by all means, yes, you will be able to 'see' the Perseids. ;-)
 
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MeteorWayne

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Well if you expect to see 100 Perseids an hour you will be disappointed. And there are some predictions the actual rate might be a bit lower this year even under perfect conditions. However, like most major showers, the Perseids have a higher ratio of bright to dim meteors than everyday meteors, so it should not be a total loss if you lower your expectations. The peak should occur during the night of the 12th-morning of the 13th.<br />Due to the near full moon, haze and air pollution will be as much of a factor as light pollution. So the further you can get from the city the better. Here in the US this time of year often has very humid and hazy skies, don't know what it's like in the UK. My advice is to look at the darkest part of the sky, wherever it is. If possible, put the moon to your back. Fortunately, the moon is lower than usual this year. If you have a very clear night you might see 15 to 40 an hour after midnight. If it's hazy, the numbers might be lower, but during a typical Perseid night at least a few dozen should be as bright as the top ten brightest stars so you should see some.<br />By the way, the outlook is better next year since it will be the New Moon night.<br /><br />Meteor Wayne <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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soundphile

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thanks people. i'm gonna try and head to the countryside, find a big hill and watch for them. <img src="/images/icons/laugh.gif" /><br />
 
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markj_87

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According to NASA, the best times to watch may be 8-10:30pm tonight and tomorrow, as the moon won't be interfering and earthgrazing meteors could be seen. Although it doesn't get properly dark until about 9:30pm, so that advice is slightly odd.<br /><br />Not sure what sort of weather you got down south but up here in Yorkshire it's miserable. Let us know how you get on, anyway!<br />
 
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harmonicaman

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The moon <b>is</b> going to interfere this year; big time!<img src="/images/icons/rolleyes.gif" /><br /><br />Generally, the best time to view a meteor shower is in the hours before dawn as the Earth turns into the particle stream; but if the Earth passes through a fresh patch of dust, this also effects how many meteorites you may observe. Some meteor showers have several distinct peaks which vary from year to year...
 
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tfwthom

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This from Astronomy:<br /><br />Perseid meteors light up the weekend <br />August's falling stars flare despite a bright Moon.<br />Michael Bakich<br /> <br /> <br />The annual Perseid meteor shower is typically one of the year's best. In 2006, this shower occurs with the Moon shining brightly. But while the number of visible meteors may be down a bit from previous years, viewers can still see the bright ones easily. The Perseid meteor shower is characterized by bright, fast meteors, many of which leave smoke trails visible for several seconds.<br /><br />The Perseids will reach their activity peak around 6 P.M. EDT on Saturday, August 12th. This is a real plus for getting friends and family out to the show.<br /> <br />How to watch the Perseids<br />August 12 isn't the only date to observe Perseid meteors. This year, the shower will be active between about July 30 and August 25. Of course, fewer meteors will be visible further away from the August 12 peak.<br /><br />Viewers need a clear, dark sky to see more than just a few Perseids. "Dark" means at least 40 miles (64 kilometers) from the lights of a large city. No telescope is required — in fact, the eyes alone work best.<br /><br />Early in the evening August 12, set up a lawn chair, preferably one that reclines. Face east, and look a third to half of the way up in the sky. After the Moon rises, face away from the Moon, and look generally overhead. When the Moon's disk enters the field of view (around 2 A.M. local time), turn your chair back to the east, and concentrate on an area of sky about halfway up. Glancing around won't hurt, either.<br /><br />Important items to remember when watching for shooting stars include bug spray, cookies, fruit, and a non-alcoholic beverage. Alcohol interferes with the eye's dark-adaption as well as the visual perception of events. <br /><br />How many Perseids will people see? This year, even with a bright Moon in the sky, expect to count between 20 and 30 meteors per hour. <br /> <br /><br /><br />So <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1" color="#3366ff">www.siriuslookers.org</font> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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That's actually when the shower peak is supposed to be. However, due the the low radiant elevation (Northern Perseus is close to the horizon at 9:30 PM, which is when it gets dark in mid latitude northern hemisphere), rates are much reduced. For example if the ZHR (standardized conditions for comparing meteor rates, sort of like standard temperature and pressure in chemistry), between the low elevation and Moon, only 10-25% of the rate can be seen.<br />I'll go into more of an explanation of why radiant elevation makes a difference if anyone is interested.<br />The radiant is highest at dawn, so a larger percentage of what is occuring can be seen. Therefore the rate may remain close to steady during the night.<br />Only way to tell for sure is to watch! <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /><br /><br />MeteorWayne <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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MeteorWayne

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In case anyone is interested, here's what I saw last night.<br />It's a bit long winded, but I was a tad frustrated.<br /><br />Here in NW, NJ, I'll report my session last night. (Aug 11-12 2006)<br />The forecast- Clear and cool<br />The plan, forego Monk, Psych, and the Yankees to do a nap so I can be fresh all night.<br />Wake up at 11:45 PM EDT and take the goodies out to the car to head up to the observatory. On the way back from the car looked up and.....<br />SON OF A PICKLE! IT'S CLOUDY!<br /><many bad words deleted for family viewing /><br />Run inside to the pooter to check IR satellite loop.<br />Doggone if there isn't a Pennsylvania sized patch of broken overcast cirrus streaming from Ohio across PA and covering NJ. Lets's see, it moved that far in 6 hours which means it should clear at....6 AM !!!!!!!!!<br />This is getting personal. <br />OK, I'll take a short nap and see if it gets better.<br />Answer: NO<br />Finally at 3:30AM I said I might as well go out for a while.<br />Glad I did. Sky was mostly covered with moon lit cirrus, but it was very clear behind the clouds <img src="/images/icons/frown.gif" /><br />I watched for a little over an hour from home in my light polluted neighborhood (all from one neighbor). First of all, it was very eerie, and I couldn't figure out why. After about 10 minutes it came to me....no katydids. For those that don't have them, katydids are a nocturnal grasshopper type insect that make a sound like their name.<br />kay-T-did....kay-T-did.<br />When tens of thousands of them are going at once it's quite beautiful and deafening. The calls drift in and out of phase with each other providing a chorus like waves hitting the beach. Well what's interesting is that early in the season (I heard my first one July 26th) they are very temperature sensitive. Right now they shut down around 65d F (about 19C). This is why they were quiet last night as temp was 59 F (15C). Later in the year, in late September they will comtinue down to 45 degrees or <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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markj_87

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I kept looking out from 10pm to about 3am but there was nothing but clouds. There was a short clear spell to the south east but the moon was in that part of the sky and I saw nothing. Looks like it'll be the same tonight as well.<br /><br />Maybe next year. <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" />
 
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harmonicaman

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In Upstate, NY, I observed from about 4:00 AM to 5:15 AM (first light) in an area with a lot of ambient light pollution -- not to mention the nearly full moon... The sky was cloudless and I caught just a few typical Perseids (quick, bright and short with very brief trails).
 
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tfwthom

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Well did anyone see any good ones? We were clouded out here in Phoenix but I did manage to see two in a clear spot Saturday night. (cleared around Cyg and I was looking up)<br /><br />SkyJim was visiting from CA and we had a beer and stars party Sunday night. We had a great light show watching the lighting for a couple hours. (no rain just clouds and lighting) <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1" color="#3366ff">www.siriuslookers.org</font> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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Actually I saw more bright ones the night before the peak through a bunch of moon lit cirrus clouds than I saw on the peak night (See my post above on the night before, still transcribing my observation tape of the peak night)<br />MW <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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yevaud

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Say hello from me the next time you see him. I owe him a night out, or a visit, or something.<br /><br />(Or maybe I'll just pop into E-S and say hello) <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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tfwthom

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Jim hasn't been in ES since the end of June, or to one of his own clubs meetings. He's been just too busy. He just got back from WA state, vacation with wife and kid. His parents live in Sun City about 15min from my house, he told me that he was going to be visiting them, so I just called around to the Sirius Lookers that actually live in the Phoenix area to come over and play in the pool, drink beer, have a picnic, and talk stars. <br /><br />I had messages for guys in his own club for him, he's been so busy lol. We were trying to set up a joint star party in the White Mts/Bishop CA area but had to cancel because of commitments else where. (my club and his) Couple guys from my club are going to head to his area and want to do a Mt Pinos outing with him. (I'm unable to make that) We did some planning on that last night.<br /><br />Yevaud<br /><br />If ya want, PM me your email addy and a message and I'll forward it to him. (I don't like giving out info online) <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1" color="#3366ff">www.siriuslookers.org</font> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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I hate to bump an old thread, but I notice a lot of folks are winding up here.<br /><br />This thread was correct for 2006.<br /><br />The thread for 2007 starts here <br />I asked jimcolyer to update the title with 2007, but he has not done so,<br /><br />For info on the 2007 Perseids (a perfect no moon year, and the peak at prime time for the US) see th "here" link above. <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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MeteorWayne

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In any case, this is last years (2006) thread. See the "Perseids" thread for this year's info.<br /><br />Ask any questions there.<br /><br />MW <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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