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grab a deck chair for the Best Meteor Showers of 2010

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posted on May, 3 2010 @ 02:45 AM
HI folks

With all the doom and gloom of late here is a wonderful way to get back to reality.
The Night Sky's are the Place to unwind and enjoy some of the universes most spectacular Meteor shows visible by the Human eye from now until December here are dates and information for your viewing pleasure.

Image of A Geminid meteor. Image credit:Jimmy Westlake

There are seven major meteor showers remaining in 2010 (the Quadrantids occurred in early January 2010), with some more active than others. For example, April's Lyrids are expected to produce about 15 meteors an hour at their peak for observers viewing in good conditions. Now, if you put the same observer in the same good conditions during a higher-rate shower like August's Perseids or December's Geminids, that person could witness up to 100 meteors an hour during peak activity.

Whether you're watching from a downtown area or the dark countryside, here are some tips to help you enjoy the best meteor showers of 2010.

First a word about the moon -- it is not your (the expectant meteor watcher's) friend. Light reflecting off a bright moon can be just as detrimental to good meteor viewing as those bright lights of the big city. There is nothing you can do except howl at the moon, so you'll have to put up with it or wait until the next favorable shower. Even though the 2010 Perseids and Geminids will share the night sky with the moon, they are still expected to produce more visible meteor activity than other major showers that don't have an interfering moon.

The best thing you can do to maximize the number of meteors you'll see is to get as far away from urban light pollution as possible and find a location with a clear, unclouded view of the night sky. If you enjoy camping, try planning a trip that coincides with dates of one of the meteor showers listed below. Once you get to your viewing location, search for the darkest patch of sky you can find, as meteors can appear anywhere overhead. The meteors will always travel in a path away from the constellation for which the shower is named. This apparent point of origin is called the "radiant." For example, meteors during a Leonid meteor shower will appear to originate from the constellation Leo. (Note: the constellation only serves as a helpful guide in the night's sky. The constellation is not the actual source of the meteors. For an overview of what causes meteor showers click on Meteor Showers: Shooting for Shooting Stars)

Whether viewing from your front porch or a mountaintop, be sure to dress for success. This means clothing appropriate for cold overnight temperatures, which might include mittens or gloves, and blankets. This will enable you to settle in without having to abandon the meteor-watching because your fingers are starting to turn colors.

We have just missed LYRIDS showers many more for viewing though

Eta Aquarids
Comet of origin: 1P Halley
Radiant: constellation Aquarius
Active: April 28-May 21
Peak Activity: Early morning May 6
Peak Activity Meteor Count: Up to approximately 60 meteors per hour (southern hemisphere), 15 meteors per hour (northern hemisphere). A less-than-half-full moon is expected to severely hamper viewing
Time of optimal viewing: Just before dawn
Meteor Velocity: 67 kilometers (42 miles) per second

Delta Aquarids
Comet of origin: unknown
Radiant: constellation Aquarius
Active: July 14-Aug. 18
Peak Activity: No definite peak, but nights surrounding July 30 may be best
Peak Activity Meteor Count: Approximately 15 meteors per hour (northern hemisphere). Unfortunately, an almost-full moon will obscure many a meteor during this year's peak.
Time of optimal viewing: An hour or two before dawn. Meteor watchers in the southern hemisphere and in the northern hemisphere's tropical latitudes will enjoy the best views.
Meteor Velocity: 42 kilometers (26 miles) per second

Comet of origin: 109P/Swift-Tuttle
Radiant: constellation Perseus
Active: Perseids begin to rise early August.
Peak Activity: Night of Aug. 12-13
Peak Activity Meteor Count: Approximately 50 meteors per hour
Time of optimal viewing: Crescent moon will set early in the evening, allowing for dark skies all the way up until peak viewing just before dawn
Meteor Velocity: 61 kilometers (38 miles) per second
Note: The Perseid meteor shower is one of the most consistent performers and considered by many as this year's best shower. The meteors they produce are among the brightest of all meteor showers.

Comet of origin: 1P/Halley
Radiant: just to the north of constellation Orion's bright star Betelgeuse.
Active: Oct. 4-Nov. 14
Peak Activity: Night of Oct. 22, but the light reflecting off an almost-full moon makes 2010 a less-than-spectacular year for one of Mother Nature's most spectacular showers.
Peak Activity Meteor Count: Approximately 15 meteors per hour, if the sky is dark
Time of optimal viewing: An hour or two before dawn
Meteor Velocity: 68 kilometers (42 miles) per second
Note: With the second-fastest entry velocity of the annual meteor showers, meteors from the Orionids produce yellow and green colors and have been known to produce an odd fireball from time to time.

Comet of origin: 55P/Tempel-Tuttle
Radiant: constellation Leo
Active: Nov. 7-28
Peak Activity: Night of Nov. 17-18
Peak Activity Meteor Count: Approximately 15 per hour
Time of optimal viewing: A half-full moon sets after midnight, allowing for a dark sky. Best viewing time will be just before dawn.
Meteor Velocity: 71 kilometers (44 miles) per second
Note: The Leonids have not only produced some of the best meteor showers in history, but have sometimes achieved the status of meteor storm. During a Leonid meteor storm, many thousands of meteors per hour can shoot across the sky. Scientists believe these storms recur in cycles of about 33 years, though the reason is unknown. The last documented Leonid meteor storm occurred in 2002.

Comet of origin: 3200 Phaethon
Radiant: constellation Gemini
Active: Dec. 4-16
Peak Activity: Night of Dec 13 -14
Peak Activity Meteor Count: Approximately 50 meteors per hour
Time of optimal viewing: 2 a.m.
Meteor Velocity: 35 kilometers (22 miles) per second
Note: Generally, the Geminids or August's Perseids provide the best meteor shower show of the year. Geminids are usually considered the best opportunity for younger viewers because the show gets going around 9 or 10 p.m. Unfortunately the moon does not set until after midnight this year, making for the possibility of drooping eyelids from the pre-teen set.
Would be good to see some of the members images from their observance


[edit on 3/5/2010 by ocker]

[edit on 3/5/2010 by ocker]

[edit on 3/5/2010 by ocker]

posted on May, 3 2010 @ 02:48 AM
Key Meteor Showers for Australian sky-watchers.

Aquarids – 21 Apr – 12 May: Maximum peak of meteors at around midnight, 5/6 May. Can produce some very bright meteors and occasional bolides. This is the 1st annual meteor shower caused by debris from Halley’s Comet.

Orionids – 2 Oct – 7 Nov 21 Although the traditional Orionids maximum occurs on 21 October, an earlier sub-maximum is possible around 17-18 October, when observing conditions are particularly favourable. The radiant rises around midnight in Australia in the east-north-eastern skies between 17 and 21 October. Well worth staying up late on 17, 18 and 21 October. Can produce some very bright meteors. Best to lie with feet to the north and look well above the horizon. This is the 2nd annual meteor shower caused by Halley’s Comet.

Southern Taurids: October 1- November 25, with extended peak 4-9th Nov and main peak ~Nov.5th. Slow meteors with up to 6-7 per hr Zenith Hourly Rate around maximum, often with bright meteors with very bright heads and long glowing trains. The Radiant is near the Pleiades asterism in Taurus, which rises in the NE after 9PM in Eastern Australia. Point your feet towards the NE sky and look above the horizon. This shower is caused by debris from Comet Encke.

Leonids: Nov10 – 23. In Australia the radiant rises soon after midnight in the north-eastern night sky. Peak occurs around 17/18th . This historic meteor shower is responsible for several meteor storms with hundreds of meteors, and has the fastest meteors at 71 km/s. This shower is caused by debris from Comet Temple–Tuttle.

Geminids: Dec 7– 17. The radiant appears around local midnight in the southern-hemisphere with a waxing crescent moon setting just before midnight in the east and well before midnight in the west. The best time for viewing in Australia is from 11pm - 1am, 14/15 December. Lie with your feet to the north-east and centre your gaze between 45 degrees above the horizon and straight up. Look for the twin stars of Gemini –Castor and Pollux, which is where the radiant of this meteor shower lies. Up to 150 meteors can be seen over ~3 hrs in good years, and this is one of the most consistent annual meteor showers for southern viewers. Debris from asteroid 3200 Phaethon causes this shower, a possible extinct comet.

Happy viewing


posted on May, 3 2010 @ 03:58 AM
Here is a great video from a Police dash cam of a Meteor over Edmonton, Canada


posted on May, 3 2010 @ 04:00 AM
Ah, for some reason the first link you posted gives me a Page Error.

The webpage cannot be found

posted on May, 3 2010 @ 04:26 AM

Originally posted by Oozii
Ah, for some reason the first link you posted gives me a Page Error.

The webpage cannot be found

Hello Oozii

Yea strange I replaced the last link hope it works for now




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