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Sharing the Perseids With #Meteorwatch 55

astroengine writes "The Perseid meteor shower is just beginning as the Earth passes through the dusty trail left behind by comet Swift-Tuttle. The meteor count is set to peak on Aug. 12. In a grand social media experiment, a guy (in a shed) located in the south of the UK is restarting #Meteorwatch, a Twitter-based community of shooting star observers. Last year, during the Geminid meteor shower, thousands of 'virtual observers' participated, making this one of the largest astronomy gatherings of its kind. With some new gadgets and a Hollywood-style #Meteorwatch trailer at his disposal, Adrian West is spending many sleepless nights counting meteors with the rest of the world." It's too bad it doesn't get dark until after my kid's bed time. In another year or two, I really am looking forward to exposing him to the Perseids.
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Sharing the Perseids With #Meteorwatch

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  • We've been living in a place where trees covered our view of the sky, but the apartment we moved into back in April has a PERFECT view of the sky out on the balcony. Looks like it's time to start stocking up on Bawls, peeled carrots, and a new tripod!

    • by Kepesk ( 1093871 )
      It's a good thought, but I highly recommend getting out of town if you can and get away from the city lights. I guarantee that you'll see 10-100 times more meteors.
      • by Pojut ( 1027544 )

        That's where we're lucky...our balcony faces a direction that is an undeveloped forest :-) It's not as good as getting away from everything, but it's better than facing development :-)

        • by Kepesk ( 1093871 )
          Excellent! I'm jealous. I'm going to have to drive 30 miles to see it myself.
          • by Pojut ( 1027544 )

            Who I'm jealous of is my parents...they live in a house on the side of a mountain in North Carolina just outside of Asheville -_-;;

  • Really? (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    "It's too bad it gets dark after my kid's bed time" What, do you just tell them about it when they wake up the next morning?

    If you were my dad and you pulled that shit I'd call you an asshole and resent you for decades.
    • by Seumas ( 6865 )

      I couldn't agree more. What an asinine attitude. How about letting your kid stay up late? It's not going to destroy their life for the next 70 years if you let them stay up late once to see something amazing. You must be an unbearably anal prick to stick so dogmatically to a bed time even in the case of really great experiences. I'm sure when your kid is remembering you at your funeral, he'd rather think back fondly of the time you made him go to sleep "early" rather than the time he stayed up at night with

      • Something amazing? Meteor showers are rather ho-hum in my opinion. We get several a year, they' can be consistent, it's one of my astronomical effects that we get to enjoy, going to watch the meteor showers is like the FOX News of nature. Broad and general, it is enjoyed by the multitudes for the sake of being a "meteor shower."
        • by Seumas ( 6865 )

          Yes, you and I may feel that way, but we're jaded adults and not little kids.

  • Hmm? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pedantic bore ( 740196 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @10:44AM (#33215400)

    I'd rather see a single shooting star than ten thousand tweets saying "Wow, I just saw one. Did you see it too?"

    To each his own, but I don't need social networking to enjoy a meteor shower. A blanket, an empty field far the the city lights, and a couple of friends, and I'm all set.

    • by d3ac0n ( 715594 )

      A blanket, an empty field far the the city lights, and a couple of friends, and I'm all set.

      Shouldn't that be, one special friend? I mean, as long as you brought the blanket...

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Zarquil ( 187770 )

      So would I.

      However, we're going to have partly cloudy skies and it's not dark 24 hours a day - at least not where I'm at.

      I do spend a lot of time encouraging people to get out there. My kids are older, and it's very special to take them out of the city and looking up at the full panoply of stars. I've seen thousands of meteors myself, but last year I saw dozens of people online who had just seen the first meteor of their lives thanks to our encouragement to go look up.

      Seriously - go spend your time watchi

    • Isn't firing up your laptop or cell phone to send that "tweet" just going to destroy your night vision? Sure, you're not going to need very long to recover but why ruin the fun?

      On a tangent, I'm always surprised that I don't hear anything accompanying a meteor sighting. I'm always waiting for that FWOOSH or some sonic boom but it's eerily silent as the meteor goes streaking by. I guess I'm just too used to the SFX in movies.

  • by mcmonkey ( 96054 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @10:55AM (#33215536) Homepage

    "It's to bad that it doesn't get dark until after my kids bed time. In another year or two, I really am looking forward to exposing him to the Perseids."

    Seriously? Kid can't stay up late for a meteor shower? No exceptions?

    I suppose there's also no cake on his birthday, because you don't allow sweets.

    You and your child are missing out. I have fond memories of my mother dragging us out of bed in the middle of the night for a lunar eclipse.

    • Rest assured, it is not what all of us have come to.

      I intend to drag my 4 year old out of bed for this if we can get a good clear night to watch.

      he is especially interested since he knows all the words to the the shooting star song on TMBG Here Comes Science []

    • I have fond memories of my mother dragging us out of bed in the middle of the night for a lunar eclipse.

      Duh, everyone knows eclipses only happen when the sun's out!

    • by Seumas ( 6865 )

      Clearly, your mother selfishly deprived you of the beautiful story you could be sharing today about the time when you were six years old and your mother sent you to bed at 8:00pm like every other day of your childhood, rather than dragging you out to see some astronomical event. The important thing is that 30 years later, you not have a story to tell of skywatching at night with your parents who may by then be long passed, but to have a story of how you were in bed by 8:00pm each and every night. Right? :)

    • Ungentle and a little over-the-top, but you make a good point. Even the strictest bedtime regime can make this much allowance.

      And, frankly, one of the nicer ways to fall asleep as a child is laying back on the blanket watching the meteors go by.

  • by Boawk ( 525582 )
    I'm just going to watch the highly anticipated Taiwanese News Recreation [] of the meteor shower.
  • by Shugart ( 598491 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @11:00AM (#33215594)
    I think you can get arrested for exposing your kids to the perseids!
    • by weicco ( 645927 )

      Heh. Ass translated to Finnish is perse. But what I didn't know was that asses has IDs :)

  • by Low Ranked Craig ( 1327799 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @11:05AM (#33215636)

    By 12:30 AM I saw 7 good ones in about 30 minutes. Hopefully it will be even better tonight.

    Get your kid up and let him watch. So what if he's a little tired at school the next day? Besides, if you explain what's going on and why, he'll probably learn more than he would at school anyway...

  • It's too bad it doesn't get dark until after my kid's bed time

    I'm still raving mad at my father that he didn't let me watch the Apollo 11 / Eagle landing because it was past my bed time, in the middle of the summer holiday. I don't know how old your kid is, but missing some sleep is not going to haunt him for life.

  • BED TIME BE DAMNED (Score:4, Insightful)

    by moeluv ( 1785142 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:03PM (#33216220)
    This falls past my kids' bedtime too, but for things like this it's ok to move bedtime back a bit. Sharing little things like this with kids is a great bonding experience and can encourage a sense of imagination and wonder for science. It's not like you're letting them stay up to watch Disney or some garbage like that.
  • Bad luck: []

    I've been to the same music festival this weekend for many years, and have always had half an eye on the sky once the music's stopped. Even when it's not cloudy (which it usually is) I've never seen a thing.

  • Posting after each meteor will kill your night vision, making it harder to see meteors, which is why you are standing out in the dark.

  • Which IRC network?


  • But why didn't they get Brian May to play guitar?

"I will make no bargains with terrorist hardware." -- Peter da Silva