The Perseids have already started and the peak is expected to be the night of Friday the 12th into the small hours of Saturday morning. The full moon will be a hindrance, but it wonít wipe out the bright meteors.
If you're clouded out, you can still take part. . . .
(1) Live video and web chat Friday night for people in the Americas + European insomniacs. The Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama will have astronomers answering your questions on August 12/13 from 11.00 - 5.00 EDT. (Java needed) http://www.nasa.gov/connect/chat/perseids_2011.html A live feed to their All Sky camera lets you see meteors that go over the area.
(2) Meteorwatch. They did the Perseids trailer that I sent last week. A meteor map will be recording the observations people tweet to them. You can see their site at http://www.meteorwatch.org/ It was very popular last year. (The site finally crashed at some point.)
(3) Space Weather Radio. The Air Force Space Surveillance Radar tracks satellites and spacecraft - also passing meteors. Stan Nelson has an antenna that picks up the echoes and broadcasts them. Most of what you hear is static, but thereís a noticeable ping or whistle when something is detected. http://www.spaceweatherradio.com/
The Astronomy Forum thread on the Perseids is at http://forums.bellaonline.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/701938/The_Perseids_2011_Coming_to_a_#Post701938
Now for something completely different. Here is a star trails photograph with a difference. Itís pretty and it made me laugh. The photographer Mike Rosinski had set up the camera and then dozed off.
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1108/FirefliesStartrails_rosinski900.jpg When he looked at what the camera had captured, he found yellow streaks all around the picture: fireflies! Love it.
And here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at BellaOnline.com.
Lyra the Heavenly Harp
Music of the spheres? Hereís a harp to play it on: Lyra, the harp of Orpheus that almost brought his beloved back from death. The constellation has one of the skyís brightest stars, a star that is really four stars, and a colorful donut.
That's all for now. Wishing you clear skies.
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