Perseid meteor shower

Blue Velvet

Moderator emeritus
Original poster
Jul 4, 2004
21,659
143
Is anyone going to try and get out to watch this tonight and through early Monday morning? The annual Perseid meteor shower is supposed to reach its peak tonight at about 9pm with the full peak expected at 3am UK time (10pm EST). Look towards the east apparently.

I'm going to venture outside but don't expect a great view from London, given the sky-glow and probable clouds. But there's also a new moon which should help keep the sky dark as well.

All the news on the Perseids that's fit to print. ;)
 

MacDawg

macrumors Core
Mar 20, 2004
19,709
4,278
"Between the Hedges"
Thanks for the heads up... if I remember I might just do that. It would be something unusual for me, and I could use some new things to break negative cycles in my life.

I like the thought of looking at the same thing as others across space and time.

Woof, Woof - Dawg
 

Blue Velvet

Moderator emeritus
Original poster
Jul 4, 2004
21,659
143
...It would be something unusual for me.

Well, if it's a mild night, grab a deck chair and a glass of something warming and point yourself towards the north-east, according to this sky-map (That's 2am, Virginia time... whatever zone that is.)






"There won't be too many bolides," Bakich said of the pea-sized balls that explode into a burst of light. "The Perseids are known for lots of fireballs, meteors that emit enough light to cast a shadow. And when there are a few of them close together, you will be able to see smoke trails in the bright light."

This year's show will be extra spectacular because the new moon rises seven hours earlier. New moons reflect no light from the sun.

Bakich said that viewers should look halfway up the sky past the horizon, and toward the east from dusk to midnight. After midnight, they should look to the northeast from halfway up to directly overhead.
http://content.hamptonroads.com/story.cfm?story=130151&ran=82342


Smoke trails? Sounds good. :)
 

megfilmworks

macrumors 68020
Jul 1, 2007
2,045
15
Sherman Oaks
I have a little ranch outside Los Angeles, I have a pool in the middle of an orange grove with no lights or obstructions and it is a great place to watch the heavens while bubbling in the spa. I'll be in there the next few nights!!
 

0098386

Suspended
Jan 18, 2005
21,552
2,886
It's dark here at night, I'll just lie back on the trampoline and have a little gander assuming it's not cloudy. Camera on tripod.
 

tdlego11

macrumors newbie
Aug 12, 2007
4
0
8/11/07

About 10:20 approx. on 8/11/07 a persied asteroid of amazing size and lasted about 3 seconds with Armageddonish like fiercity. It was just south of the perseus constellation heading south in the eastern sky of Queen Creek Arizona.

It did not look to be higher then 10,000 feet above the ground from my vantage point as it was that large.

Any pics or sightings of this one? > please post as my family missed it and they think I am just nuts!!!!
 

tdlego11

macrumors newbie
Aug 12, 2007
4
0
tdlego11

Last night (8/11/07) I spotted about 13 small asteroids in the general areas surrounding Perseus in about a 3 hour span. The one big one which was unbeleivable, and a much smaller one that went into the V of perseus around 1AM on 8/12/07. The smaller one lasted about 2 seconds and was very small heading due north almost.

Tonight should be awesome!!! They were all around the areas forcasted going in all directions I've noticed, not just north to south.

Break out the cameras for tonight with about 8 to 12 second exposures depending on your ISO speed. You can still use a polarizer as it clears alot of sky pollution and helps record the coloration far more accurately but does increase exposure time ever so slightly.

Arizona will be mostly clear tonight so get a tripod and I am sure you will be very busy. Charge your batteries to the fullest....
 

todd2000

macrumors 68000
Nov 14, 2005
1,609
8
Danville, VA
Killing time waiting for Meteors! :)

So Im sitting here, wanting to go to sleep, but I must stay awake for the Perseid's Meteor Shower. Their supposed to peak in "the hours before dawn" on Monday morning. Im not exactly sure what time that means, but I figure I'll start driving away fro the city (and lights), at about 2:45AM or so. I figure between 3AM-4AM should be prime viewing time. If anyones interested(and still awake) there is more info here: http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2007/11jul_greatperseids.htm.


On a related topic, if you want to see where Perseus (the star/constallation that the meteors appear to be coming from) is at the current time in your part of the world you can DL Stellarium, an awsome planatarium APP for OS X here: http://www.stellarium.org/, and it's FREE!

So who's gonna join me and go watch the Meteors?????? There must be a few space geeks on here LOL :)
 

gotzero

macrumors 68040
Jan 6, 2007
3,220
0
Mid-Atlantic, US
Just went, could not stay out as late as I would have liked, have to get up tomorrow. They we rather slow, but a couple of the ones we did see made it all worth it. So neat to see them light up the sky! Anyway, good luck, I hope you get a clear sky and a great show. I never tire of seeing these.
 

Maui

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2007
869
0
I was out last night with our astronomy club, at our dark sky location. We had about 20 scopes and about 30 people. Lots of deep sky viewing, but we all took a break about 1 am to watch the meteors. Simply outstanding -- more than the predicted 1-3 per minute. At one point we counted 9 in 60 seconds.

Alas, no dark site for me tonight, but I am definitely going to do some back yard viewing, in about 30 minutes.

For those who are new to this, just remember two things: get in as dark a spot as you can, and look east. You won't be disappointed.
 

todd2000

macrumors 68000
Nov 14, 2005
1,609
8
Danville, VA
I was out last night with our astronomy club, at our dark sky location. We had about 20 scopes and about 30 people. Lots of deep sky viewing, but we all took a break about 1 am to watch the meteors. Simply outstanding -- more than the predicted 1-3 per minute. At one point we counted 9 in 60 seconds.

Alas, no dark site for me tonight, but I am definitely going to do some back yard viewing, in about 30 minutes.

For those who are new to this, just remember two things: get in as dark a spot as you can, and look east. You won't be disappointed.
NICE! If you were getting that many last night It should be great tonight (or rather this morning :)) Since their supposed to peak before dawn. Im going to go in bout 30 min, and try to find a dark place, which shouldn't be too hard in the middle of nowhere A.K.A. Danville, VA :)
 

zflauaus

macrumors 65816
Nov 19, 2004
1,166
3
Same boat as Father Jack. Cloudy here as well. And chances are the rain won't even make it here.
 

todd2000

macrumors 68000
Nov 14, 2005
1,609
8
Danville, VA
You guys are getting me excited, I've really only seen one good meteor shower, and that was the Leonid's back in 2001 (I believe), we were surrounded by city lights, and we still saw tons of them. I'll be leaving shortly!!!
 

todd2000

macrumors 68000
Nov 14, 2005
1,609
8
Danville, VA
Well just got home. It took me forever to find a spot that was dark enough, and had somewhere that I could pull the car off the road. Of course when I finally found a spot, I was staring in the wrong direction for like 30min LOL. Finally figured out where to look, and I saw about 10 or so in about 45 Min. Not quite as many as I was hoping for, but at least it wasn't a total loss. There was a bit of light pollution too. You would be surprised how hard it is to find a completely dark place even in the middle of nowhere.
 

miniConvert

macrumors 68040
I saw some of it here in the UK, parked up at the seafront with the roof down and the seats back! Most comfortable stargazing I've ever done at 1am :D

There were some spectacular streaks across the sky. I've never seen anything like it before (never seen more than a regular star before, and the odd thing that you later realise is an aeroplane) so it was very exciting :D

One was so bright and fast it scared the crap out of me. There had been several quick but unimpressive ones (though they were impressive to me at the time) so when what I can only equate to a large firework streaked across the sky I jumped!
 

jimN

macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2005
934
10
London
I can only only access my balcony via my housemate's bedroom and she decided to turn in at 9pm. Sadly that meant no star gazing.
 

Piarco

macrumors 68030
Jun 24, 2004
2,529
0
Londinium
I was down visiting the gf's parent in the New Forest, and after a nice meal we headed off to Wilverly plain - a nice open expanse, far enough away from roads to avoid car lights, and far enough away from Southampton to have minimal light pollution. Saw my first meteor at about 10.45 on the way there - a nice long golden streak in the sky :D

After setting up my camera (I'd brought my Nikon D70s various lenses a Manfrotto X190PROB tripod and most essentially a cable shutter release for minimal effort ;)) we just lay down on a picnic blanket and watched the show.

The meteors didn't come all in the same direction as I though they would, but predominantly from north swinging around to east and down to the south. All different angles, all different intensities, ranging from very brief white strikes, to long golden lines which hung in the sky for a millisecond after the meteor burned out.

But trying to shoot these things coming in any which way was mission impossible. So no meteor pics. :( Plenty of stars with and without celestial movement though. Well worth the effeort though, must have seen in excess of 50 meteors in about two and a half hours....
 

0098386

Suspended
Jan 18, 2005
21,552
2,886
Gah, I went up the road to the tops, realised I forgot that tripod/camera locking bit and had to trek back down! Didn't see any meteors at all :eek: This was around 1.30am. No clouds here either.
 

Piarco

macrumors 68030
Jun 24, 2004
2,529
0
Londinium
Gah, I went up the road to the tops, realised I forgot that tripod/camera locking bit and had to trek back down! Didn't see any meteors at all :eek: This was around 1.30am. No clouds here either.
lol the same thing happened to a mate of mine I went to Iceland with. All getting set up to shoot the aurora on the first night there, and she realises that she's left the quick release plate in England. Needless to say her shots were a little blurry - and it cost her nearly £70 to buy a replacement thanks to the fact its damn expensive out there!

The BBC homepage is still suggesting that there could be more tonight, but its a cloudy mess back in London, so no chance :(
 

megfilmworks

macrumors 68020
Jul 1, 2007
2,045
15
Sherman Oaks
I was outside and saw the shower about 1 every minute or so. Some were exceptionally beautiful..By the way didn't catch any asteroids tdlego11 where were they?? lol
 
I was out on 8/11 on and off from 10 to 12 eastern time (in new england) and saw a few, but was disappointed. Not nearly as many as I remembered in the past.

Went out last night (8/12) during the same period and saw a paltry 5 or 6 good ones. a couple were outstanding, but saw many smaller ones. Conditions weren't bad at first, dark sky with visible milky way, but clouds started to move in with lighting in the distance lighting up the clouds in my vicinity, reducing my visibility.

Not sure when the peak was last night, but I obviously missed it.