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Leonids Meteor shower set to reach peak tonight, are you hardy enough to brave the cold?

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posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 05:27 PM
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Sometimes, no matter what you do it's not going to happen. The weather, and the fact that people have to work put an end to my Leonid hopes this year too, although I may have one last go a bit later on.

There is still the Geminids this year (in less than a months time now), and it's usually pretty reliable . The moon will be out of the way too I believe.

Try not to let one missed attempt put you off. The more showers/peaks you try and observe, the more the odds swing in your favor of catching a good one. Eventually you'll be in the right place at the right time.

At least someone got lucky this year. Actually I suspect a few did!




posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 05:41 PM
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Originally posted by C.H.U.D.
Sometimes, no matter what you do it's not going to happen. The weather, and the fact that people have to work put an end to my Leonid hopes this year too, although I may have one last go a bit later on.

There is still the Geminids this year (in less than a months time now), and it's usually pretty reliable . The moon will be out of the way too I believe.

Try not to let one missed attempt put you off. The more showers/peaks you try and observe, the more the odds swing in your favor of catching a good one. Eventually you'll be in the right place at the right time.

At least someone got lucky this year. Actually I suspect a few did!


I caught a few from the one earlier this year, hm what was it perseids?? I only saw about a dozen, but it was thrilling and well worth the late night!

I'll be sure to catch the one you mentioned above, although nice weather in the UK?????!!!



posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 05:42 PM
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Yeah,they definately sounded happy.
Oh well Geminids it is then.Hopefully anyway as i get a good darkish view from my back garden although i only see the odd one or two streaks but quite bright normally especially at this time of year.



posted on Nov, 18 2009 @ 04:21 AM
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I'm too new to be allowed to post a new thread, so I'll add this here. I did not see the shower tonight, but was planning on doing so. I decided to look at the local news coverage of the event, and was surprised to find this:

Around midnight 11/18, a bolide meteor flying overhead of the western United States (Utah, Idaho, etc) turned the night into day for a few seconds!!! Some people had thought it was maybe a weapon and were relieved that nothing happened. I feel really bad I missed it. Here are two known videos of the flyover (not direct views of the meteor). Hopefully something better will show up.






Here are the comments of many of the observers in Utah: www.ksl.com...

[edit on 18-11-2009 by jon123]



posted on Nov, 18 2009 @ 04:23 AM
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I've been looking forward to this for about 2 months, and it's cloudy...

My luck is terrible.



posted on Nov, 18 2009 @ 10:35 AM
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reply to post by kiwifoot
 


kiwifoot,

If it was during August, then they may well have been Perseids. There are actually lots of annual meteor showers, but some are more reliable than others for in some respects, like producing a high percentage of bright/fireball meteors or have reasonably consistent rates from year to year. The Perseids tick both those boxes fairly often, and they are at the height of summer so they are definitely up there, along with the Geminids, and Leonids (when they are in "outburst mode").

The Quadrantids (January), Orionids (October) and Lyrids (April) can also put on quite a good show, but there is always a chance of a surprise from even lesser well known meteor showers, like the Draconids and Aurigids although that is fairly rare.

Yeah, the weather is a real problem here. I'm also in the UK, so I know where you're coming from!

There are a few things you can do that will help, but if the weather doesn't want to cooperate, you're usually out of luck.

Firstly, with some showers (Perseids and Geminids are good examples), in the buildup to the peak, the nights before and even after peak can also be quite good, so try to take advantage of those if you can, so that if the peaks are clouded out you can usually get to see a bit of activity. Also it may turn out that you catch a peak/sub-peak in activity that was not predicted.

Secondly, if you have transport, try and drive somewhere where it's likely to remain clear. Getting above the cloud is one possibility, for some at least, but if you are not close to any mountainous terrain that is accessible, look at the forecasts and satellite images to try and work out where might be clear. These two links between them work quite well:
news.bbc.co.uk...
www.metoffice.gov.uk...

Thirdly, book a flight to somewhere high and dry, and where the peak is expected to be best viewed from. One group of observers flew out from Ireland to Nepal for this years Leonids for example. This only really works with/is worth doing for showers like the Leonids, and a few others where the predictions are fairly "well nailed down".

That last suggestion is not much use with the Geminids, but you can get a pretty good idea of which times are best to observe by looking at the graphs for previous year's results here, and indeed get an idea of which other showers are worth checking out.

For the last 3 years the Geminids have peaked at between about 120-140 per hour early in the morning of the 14th December, and rates have still been quite respectable on the surrounding nights.

That should give you some idea which showers/dates are worth investing time in.

I did go back out tonight when there were some gaps in the cloud a little while back (almost totally clear for a short time), and saw a single short but nice Leonid fireball. I also saw a couple of sporadic meteors and a possible Taurid meteor that was not too shabby although not quite a fireball when I went out earlier on, but the clouds kept rolling in to spoil the fun.

By the way, check out some of the photos that have been sent in to spaceweather.com, here, here, here, and here!

Click on them for the full size versions



posted on Nov, 18 2009 @ 10:35 AM
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reply to post by tracey ace
 


tracey ace,

Definitely plan ahead (as I suggested above to kiwifoot) to be somewhere that might be more meteor observing friendly than your back garden, although they can be quite good, and I have observed many memorable meteors, and even showers from back gardens over the years.

It's certainly better than nothing at all, but in the majority of cases getting away to somewhere that is remote can make all the difference. It can double or even treble the number of meteors that you see if you go to a pristine or near pristine dark-sky observing site.

The meteors also become more eye catching and impressive against a deep black background, plus you see more detail as well as color, and if you observe in August the summer milky way is an awesome background to observe a meteor shower against!

Treat yourself to a week staying somewhere remote and well suited to observing, covering the 11th, 12 th, 13th and 14th in August, or even two. Make sure you have all the right gear like a sleeping bag and something to go underneath. Go out and observe during any clear night leading up to the peak, and stay out till it starts to get light, which is when most showers attain their peak rate at any given location (unless there are strong sub peaks!).

Incidentally, meteor showers tend to go through cycles, as Earth travels though different regions of our solar system, and in coming years the Perseid meteor shower is expected to become much weaker than it is now, so make the most of the good years we are having with them at this time.

If you picked a reasonably good location weather-wise, you can easily notch up a few hundred meteors in a peak night, and there are always at least a few bright fireballs. It's worth the effort IMHO... especially when you see simultaneous meteors, or the ones that explode or trail sparks, or fragment (not necessarily always Perseids/the shower you are observing)... I could go on!

If you can handle the cold where you are, the Geminids is worth the effort too, but the main thing to remember is you get out what you put in most of the time when it comes to meteor observing.

For anyone who is interested here are a couple of sets of future meteor showers predictions from respected researchers:
IMCCE
Mikhail Maslov

There are some interesting outbursts predicted in around 20-25 years, particularly with the Leonids in 2033 and 2034, though there are some other showers that could help pass the time in the not too distant future, so don't give up any hope just yet of seeing something!



posted on Nov, 18 2009 @ 10:37 AM
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reply to post by jon123
 


jon123,

You are right. What happened in Utah on the 18th, should really have it's own thread. I think someone will probably post one, if they have not already. I haven't had a chance to look for one yet.

Events like Utah are more likely to be due to small asteroids entering the atmosphere, which is completely unrelated to meteor showers like the Leonids that are cometary in origin.

Asteroids are made of much harder material, so they can penetrate the atmosphere much more deeply than cometary material, and this is why some felt the shock-wave and/or shaking. Even so, it probably did not make it to within 30 km of the ground before breaking up and falling to the ground, if indeed anything did make it. There is a good chance with an event like this that something did, unlike cometary events, which never make it down very low in the atmosphere because they are made of much weaker material than an asteroid.

There is a video of the event here by the way:
www.ktvb.com...





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