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Space NASA

How to Peep the Perseid's Peak 58

The Christian Science Monitor has a short piece with some tips on watching the Perseid meteor showers, which will peak over the next few evenings. MSNBC also has a good suggestion if you'd like to watch the show but can't because of weather: watch online, courtesy of NASA and the Slooh space telescope. I hope the skies will cooperate so I can see them from darkest Maine.
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How to Peep the Perseid's Peak

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  • FUD ALERT! (Score:5, Funny)

    by ae1294 ( 1547521 ) on Saturday August 10, 2013 @08:18PM (#44533235) Journal

    A highly reliable source [xkcd.com] claims that the Perseid meteor showers are not so much meteor showers in the normal sense...

  • by SuperBanana ( 662181 ) on Saturday August 10, 2013 @08:56PM (#44533349)

    Please do not link to the CSM or support them - their parent organization (which is where the profits from the CSM go) spreads belief that if you get sick, it's punishment for not being a good enough Christian Scientist/follower of god, and that you should not seek medical treatment. That's some seriously fucked up shit.

    If you're a dimwitted adult and you want to deny yourself medical care, fine - but the children of Christian Scientists don't have a choice, and this cult endangers the lives of tens of thousands of children who depend upon their guardians for sound medical care decisions.

    Mary Baker Eddy was relentlessly criticized (rightly so) by the press of her time for being absolutely batshit crazy (which she was. Someone should've tattooed "correlation is not causation" backwards on her forehead.) She got all huffy about being called a wacko all the time, and started the CSM - specifically to have a newspaper that wouldn't criticize her and would present her with a worldview she found acceptable.

    Yes, they do good reporting. It doesn't matter - the money still supports a cult.

    • If Nasa.gov is broadcasting it why not watch it there
      http://www.nasa.gov/connect/chat/perseids_2013.html [nasa.gov]

    • by mmell ( 832646 )
      You seem as nervous as a Christian Scientist with appendicitis.
    • by sageres ( 561626 )
      So what? Yes it is owned by a church, but how many good media newspapers owned by people whose causes we protest? Fox -- Newscorp. Check out who owns NBC -- that's Comcast. That is: Vanguard group, State Street, Dodge and Cox, Wellington, Microsoft And who owns CBS? Waddel & Reed, Vanguard (again), State Street, Capital World ABC? That's Disney.... That is:Vanguard Group. State Street Corp. FMR, LLC, T Roe Price. Vanguard Group and State Street are the primary ones that own most media. Newscorp is the
      • by Anonymous Coward

        ...how many good media newspapers owned by people whose causes we protest?

        None. You seem to think there are good media newspapers.

        CSM is one of the very few independent media publications.

        "Independent" means what exactly? They're beholden to their owners, just like every other publication. Outside of the mainstream media? The mainstream media sucks at science anyway, so I'm not sure what you're point is.

        There are all kinds of independent organizations doing quality science reporting (some of which fund actual science, not just science which supports a religious point of view).

    • by nbauman ( 624611 ) on Sunday August 11, 2013 @12:25AM (#44533929) Homepage Journal

      I must defend the CSM. I knew their technology reporter, and he turned me on to Linux.

      I can't speak with authority on the Christian Science religion, but I have met a lot of hospital medical ethicists who deal with them and other religions that discourage medicine. There were some big problems with Christian Science up to 1993, when they lost a big lawsuit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_science#Children.27s_rights.2C_relationship_with_medicine [wikipedia.org] Since that time they seem to be moving away from their anti-medicine position significantly. I don't know what their vaccination practices are now, but Mary Baker Eddy said that they should get vaccinated if that's the law. These problems of children (and adults) dying for lack of medical care come up now more often with the Evangelical churches that interpret the Bible "literally", and with "naturalistic" practitioners.

      The CSM is an excellent newspaper. They won 7 Pulitzer prizes. I read a book about newspapers in New England, and one chapter was about the CSM. They (like most other journalists) gave the CSM a great evaluation, although they pointed out the ironic failing of a newspaper based in Boston, one of the centers of academic medicine, that didn't cover medicine. OTOH, they said that the CSM was edited with a philosophy of trying to contribute something positive to the world, which sounds hokey but if you look at their coverage they were really doing it. They lost money. They refused to take cigarette or liquor ads. They never covered crime, except for a broad view as a social problem that we should try to do something about. Most of their circulation was by mail, which arrived a day or two later, so they eschewed deadline coverage of the day's news and instead wrote more analytical, fact-checked, thoughtful stories.

      They were actually quite liberal, and during the times when the war hawks were beating the drums of war, the CSM took one step back, reported the objective facts, and treated our "enemies" like human beings, when even papers like the New York Times were doing their job as stenographers to the military-industrial complex. Foreign correspondents in war zones are awfully expensive, but it was worth it. They also had local freelancers, who knew the people and understood the culture. For example, the CSM had some of the earliest coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in which they actually talked to people on both sides and treated their ideas seriously. In national coverage, they don't treat politics like a spectator sport where the Democrats and Republicans are supposed to score points against each other. They realize that we have problems to solve.

      At one time I read the CSM more or less regularly, and it was pretty good. Like the Wall Street Journal, they would have one crazy editorial every day, and the rest of the paper was independent, rock-solid objective reporting. You don't find too many newspapers like that, now or ever.

      They were missing the cynicism in most of the media that "things are corrupt and we can't do anything about it so let's go along with it and make smug jokes about it." See for yourself http://www.csmonitor.com/ [csmonitor.com]

      Every religion is crazy in some way, and I don't understand how intelligent people can fall for them, but the fact is that a lot of people, including some of my friends, follow religions and do good things. The Catholics are crazy (and hypocritical) about sex, abortion and even contraceptives, but they run hospitals and bring lawsuits to help the homeless. The evangelical Christians believe in creationism, but Forest Mimms is the best electronic engineer I ever saw. The Jews are acting like Nazis towards the Palestinians, but then there's Noam Chomsky and the rest fighting for social justice. The Scientologists I don't have to tell you about, but a bunch of Scientologists were running Earthlink, which was one of the best ISPs at

      • You probably have no idea what the Catholic church really teaches about sex, abortion, and contraceptives, and that's probably why you conclude they are crazy and hypocritical. Your average Catholic usually has no idea either.

        You could read the "Theology of the Body" series by Pope JP2, but here's a very short intro.

        http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/natural-family-planning/catholic-teaching/upload/Married-Love-and-the-Gift-of-Life-English-version.pdf [usccb.org]

        • by nbauman ( 624611 )

          You probably have no idea what the Catholic church really teaches about sex, abortion, and contraceptives, and that's probably why you conclude they are crazy and hypocritical.

          I lived with Catholic roomates all through college, and I had four Catholic girlfriends. My Jesuit roommates sent me to the library to read Thomas Aquinis. I went to mass. I marched in anti-war demonstrations with Catholics. I worked with Catholic lawyers who were suing the city to force them to provide housing for the homeless. And (at the recommendation of a Catholic right-to-life activist), I read Roe vs. Wade, which went through all the arguments, including the Catholic arguments, in great detail.

          I al

    • I'll get my information wherever it is reliably honest, correct, and truthful reguardless of who or what is behind it.

      You are free to apply any ideological litmis test you like before reading. Personally I'd be troubled by all the echoing, but whatever.

      Of course, you DO realise, I hope, that your actions encourage them to NOT work to attract intelligent readers, and instead focus only on those who believe as they do. But since that would only bring reality closer to your vision of it, I suspect you wouldn't

  • by Eyeballs ( 64172 ) on Saturday August 10, 2013 @10:55PM (#44533681)

    It's call Mobile Observatory:

    And right now it's telling me:
    1. When the shower will be next above the horizon, and which direction that will be.
    2. When the shower will reach it's peak, and which direction and how high above the horizon it will be.

    So here's the app's blurb from Google Play:

    You want to know if the next lunar eclipse is visible from your location or when the next bright comet is visible? You would like to be notified by your smart phone the next time, Jupiter and the Moon meet in the sky? You want to know what the blazing bright object in the evening sky is? You want to be always up-to-date which celestial events are visible from your location? Then this app is a must-have for you!
    The app does not only include a live, zoomable sky map telling you what sky object you are looking at but provides you with loads of detailed extra information on stars, planets, deep sky objects, meteor showers, comets, asteroids, lunar and solar eclipses as well as detailed ephemeris of all included sky objects and an interactive top-down view of the Solar System. All that in just one app!
    Main Features
    - Zoomable sky map showing stars, planets, asteroids, and more (above and below the horizon)
    - Interactive top-down view of the Solar System
    - Live mode (point device on sky and get information on what you see)
    - Calendar showing detailed descriptions of celestial events
    - Push celestial events to your phone's calendar and set a reminder alarm
    - Rise, set, and transit times for any object
    - Position of any object in the sky (altitude and direction)
    - Twilight times, length of day
    - Bright Star Catalog (~9000 stars) with detailed information
    - More than 400 000 additional stars from the PPM Star Catalog (Android 3.1 or higher required)
    - 2500 selected NGC objects (galaxies, clusters, ...)
    - Messier Catalog (110 objects) complete with images
    - Caldwell Catalog (110 objects) complete with images
    - Hidden Treasures Catalog (109 objects) complete with images
    - Meteor streams (begin, maximum, hourly rate, ...)
    - Lunar and solar eclipses information
    - Lunar librations, ascending node, maximum declination
    - Bright comets (automatically selected according to the date)
    - Dwarf planets: The five known dwarf planets
    - Minor planets: bright, near Earth, trans-Neptune (more than 10000 in the database)
    - Update database online: download up-to-date orbital elements of comets and minor planets
    - Moon phases, the apparent view of the sun and planets
    - Current image of the Sun and sunspot number
    - Automatically generated visibility report for any object
    - Intuitive User Interface: quickly find what you are looking for
    - Widget with rise & set times of the Sun and Moon
    - Automatic location determination from the mobile network or GPS
    - Select a location from a built-in database or online via Google Maps
    - Choose any time and date
    - Detailed ephemeris, visibility information of all objects
    - Dates of conjunctions between any object with planets or the Moon
    - 3D-view of the Moon and the planets
    - Accurate calculations for dates between 1900 and 2100

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Next time you link an app, please mention if it's a free or paid app...

      Geez, $5?!

  • One major quibble. As the Earth travels in its path around the Sun, the line of sunrise is the "front", and the line of sunset is the "back". You'll see more and brighter meteors from 2AM to dawn than you will between sunset and midnight. So if your schedule permits, rather than staying up late, get up early to look for meteors.

    When driving, bugs hit the front windshield quite often. But bugs hardly ever splatter themselves on the BACK window. Same principle.

    The Perseid meteors are going at about 125,

  • the lines from Perseus seem to be drawn differently.

  • by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Sunday August 11, 2013 @11:22AM (#44535825) Homepage

    How to Peep the Perseid's Peak

    "Peep" is synonymous with "look," not "see," so this should be

    How to Peep at the Perseid's Peak

    Carry on.

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments. -- Earl Wilson