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Perseid Meteor Shower This Week 33

fejikso writes "Space Daily and the BBC announce the coming of the annual Perseid meteor shower, and forecasters say it could be unusually good. The cosmic spectacle is produced by the debris left by the comet Swift-Tuttle. When the shower peaks, by August 12, sky watchers can expect to see dozens, possibly even hundreds, of meteors per hour."
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Perseid Meteor Shower This Week

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  • Great... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Ayaress ( 662020 ) on Tuesday August 10, 2004 @05:33PM (#9934321) Journal
    And here in Michigan, the forcasts say not to expect clear sky until next week. The only time I can remember Michigan not having crappy weather during a major meteor shower was when I was in Florida - which of course, had crappy weather every night that week.
  • Hygene (Score:1, Funny)

    by shfted! ( 600189 )
    I imagine the Perseids are pretty darned smelly. Imagine the stink from only showering once per year!
  • Does anybody have actual times for the estimated start and end of the shower? Both of these articles regurgitate the same "go out at 2am" bullshit with no timezone listed. Should I go out at 2am UTC, 2am EDT, 2am HST?
    • by Ayaress ( 662020 ) on Tuesday August 10, 2004 @06:37PM (#9934879) Journal
      The times are local time - wherever you are. The shower runs 24-7 for several days. Just go out at the darkest time of night and hope there aren't clouds.
    • Looking around more, it looks like 2am local is the time that the earth is heading directly into the cloud, so that's when they peak. Weird. Still, an idea of when they'll stop and start would have been nice.
      • They may have already "started" - I know I was seeing more shooting stars than usual a few days ago. Wednesday night should be best, though, and specifically early Thursday morning. I'm planning to watch the show from 9000' or so elevation. Anyone who wants to go along should get a ticket to ITO post haste. ;)
    • by Anonymous Coward
      that would be YOUR time zone... best light conditions. During meteor showers such as this you would see them 24/hours a day if not for daylight...
    • by Chuck1318 ( 795796 ) on Tuesday August 10, 2004 @06:49PM (#9934981)
      While the shower goes on for several days, the peak, when we go through a filament of material, is August 12, 09:20 UT [] (what used to be Greenwich time). With daylight savings time, that will be 2:20am here in California.
      • UT has nothing to do with GMT, Universal Time is actually mesauring the distance travelled around the sun, and takes into account wobbles etc...

        This is from my head though, there are two 'universal' times, one takes into account wobbles of the earth, the other doesn't, one is definite, the other has a day of a slightly different length each time.

        So next time you are late to work, blame it on a meteor shower knocking your UT alarm clock off, and I guess you PHB will go cross eyed, and say something like:

  • by sevenofnine ( 617237 ) on Tuesday August 10, 2004 @07:16PM (#9935145)
    Better start preparing a list of wishes for each of the shooting stars that we can be expecting here then :)
  • Big City (Score:4, Informative)

    by eingram ( 633624 ) on Tuesday August 10, 2004 @08:28PM (#9935589)
    I live in a big metropolitan area (DFW), and two years ago during the Leonids, I had to drive about an hour and a half out to see them really well (there was also a full moon during the shower, which sucked). So I suggest if you're in a big city, head for the country.

    This should be a pretty good show, though. While we won't have a new moon (different from full moon) on the 12th, it'll be damn close. Plus, in this area, the moon will be below the horizon until around 3:30am. I can't wait (and I'm sure I'll be a zombie at work the next day, too)!
  • by ttsalo ( 126195 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @06:35AM (#9938067)
    Couple of years ago I saw a meteor that was big enough and close enough to see pieces breaking off it. (And it lit up the landscape too, for a second.) These tiny-streaks-in-the-sky just haven't been able to impress me much after that.


    • Bah! You kids these days don't know nuthin! Why, when I was a kid I had a meteor come down and blow off my left foot. These tiny-streaks-in-the-sky and near-by-meteor-impacts just haven't been able to impress me much after that.

  • As in Tunguska at Google news []
    I cannot submit stories anymore. why?
  • NASA Fluxtimator (Score:3, Informative)

    by Chuck1318 ( 795796 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @01:24PM (#9940984)
    The NASA website has a Fluxtimator [] that predicts the meteor flux (meteors per hour) for various cities around the world during the night of August 11-12. It will also work for the Leonid shower in November. It looks like the peak is fairly sharp, and drops off quickly thereafter.
    • Taking another look, the shape of the curve has to do with the time during the night, with it dropping off at dawn. But if you change the date setting, you can see the meteor flux tonight is well above that of last night or tomorrow night.
  • Dark Sky Locator (Score:3, Informative)

    by Chuck1318 ( 795796 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @01:32PM (#9941057)
    The International Dark-Sky Association has a locator [] for finding the places near your location in the US with least light pollution.
    • [Sarcasm]Well that website was a big help![/Sarcasm]

      I live in the vicinity of New York City. The website gave me a single result for half-way-decent viewing conditions, specificly to take a stroll 59 miles straight out into the ocean.

      Around here it's not considered "light pollution" until some idiot hits you in the face with highbeams.

      I remember going on vacation and seeing the MilkyWay for the first time. That was cool.


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