Thursday, 12 August 2010

Meteors tonight… do you tweet?

The 2nd Annual Twitter Perseids Meteorwatch sounds fun I have to say. I am planning to look to the skies tonight although at the moment it is pretty cloudy here in Perthshire, Scotland so perhaps I’ll see nothing. I don’t tweet either to join in but if you do you may want to check out the links below.

Just had an extra thought... if any non tweeters and non bloggers want to share sightings please do leave a comment at the end of this post. I know I'd love to hear about them and I'm sure others would too. It would be great if you could give a rough idea of what part of the UK/World you saw the show from too. Perhaps this is the first show you've seen or one of many. Let's chat about it :-)


You can tweet your meteor observations
and see them on the
Meteor Map
which sounds both fun and fascinating.


Perhaps you’re like me with virtually no Astronomy knowledge and might want to browse the meteorwatch website at meteorwatch.org to get some background on this spectacle. Sorry I haven't given you more warning. On their website they say:

“For the Next 36 hours the world will discover, observe, image and hopefully enjoy meteors, wonders of the night sky and the Perseid Meteor Shower on Twitter.

As well as looking up and enjoying the night sky, you can have some fun and contribute to science, by tweeting your meteor observations so they appear on a map, or by submitting a British Astronomical Association observing form for more detailed observations.

#Meteorwatch has started in the UK and will continue to run around the world closing back in the UK 36 hours later. Anyone can join in and enjoy the #Meteorwatch, no matter where you are or who you are.

@VirtualAstro, @Astronomy2009UK, @Britastro and many others will tweet, so join in, tweet, use the hashtag #Meteorwatch, post images and join in with science if you can and most of all have fun!”


Now… if you are in any doubt about looking to the skies tonight why don’t you view the video below by Adrian West of Newbury Astronomical Society. I’ve a feeling it may inspire you!

Adrian is also the author of the text in grey above and you can follow him on twitter too @AdrianWest.

Enjoy...

Video by Adrian West.



In keeping with the techy theme and the sky at night I’d like to mention an iPhone app. I’ve been waiting for the right time to drop this one in. After all watching the sky is a form of garden watching. I haven’t used it often but it’s fascinating to be able to stand in your garden and hold your phone above you and be able to see star constellations in position. If you turn slowly around the image on your screen changes too!

For a novice like me, the app 'Star Walk – 5 stars astronomy guide' is great fun. Lol… I just need to get off my blog in the evenings and get outside to use it more! Now, at £1.79 I think it’s a great buy too but don’t take my word for it. Please read the reviews first… 5½ stars it gets!

Looking around quickly (want to get this posted before it gets dark) for any apps on the meteor shower and I came across something on the wikiHow website that caught my eye: “How to Watch the Perseid Meteor Shower.” I found the article describing the shower very interesting. They say:

“Each year, the Earth passes through the debris of a comet called the Swift-Tuttle. This debris burns up in our atmosphere to form what we see as meteors or shooting stars. The Perseid meteor shower is at its peak during mid-August, with the peak on the night of August 12 and morning of August 13 in 2010. During a peak, at least 50–60 meteors can be observed during each hour. Considered the best and brightest meteor show of the year by many, it's a great opportunity to go outside and check out nature's own dramatic show.”

Finally, not having a ‘real’ compass to find the north eastern sky (to get the best chance to see the meteor shower) or the iphone version that has a compass included I’m going to use a another tech solution. I’m going to locate my house on Google maps and see what it comes up with.

Location sorted (roughly) all I need now is to set an alarm on my phone for around midnight and have my coat and shoes ready! I don't intend to join those to those who will still be up watching until dawn tomorrow. I've a feeling it was after 11pm we saw the shower last year. I'll maybe pop out around then and if its still cloudy I'll consider my options.

Happy sky watching… oh and remember to tweet what you see if you are on twitter. If you are a bloggger then I look forward to seeing any photos if you are lucky enough to get them.

Have fun however you watch the shower... the reality is no tech solutions are really required. All you need to do is wait until it gets dark, hope there are no clouds, have a bit of patience and use your eyes.

Phew... got this posted before it got dark... sorry I'm a tad late. Wishing you a great weekend :-D

13 comments:

Southern Lady said...

I plan on going out after midnight tonight to see the meteors with my girls. I can't wait. I hope it is not too cloudy. Carla

Magic Cochin said...

Just come in from the garden - we've been laying back on the Adirondack chairs watching meteors!

Saw a good number including 3 very bright ones leaving long trails across the sky - the best I've ever seen.

Celia
in the south west corner of Suffolk

Lisa at Greenbow said...

It is overcast here right now. I would like to see them. I don't tweet. I hope you have a great weekend too.

shirl said...

Hi there Carla, Celia & Lisa :-)

Carla, hope the weather stays clear for you and you get a good show in North Carolina with your girls… enjoy! For the moment we have lots of cloud in my garden and I’ve just felt a spitter of rain on my face as I looked up. I’ll go out again in 15 mins to look again… ever the optimist in garden watching ;-) I see you tweet… are you going to join in tonight?

Celia, sounds fantastic! Lucky you, still got cloud here. I doubt it will clear enough to see. Now the big question is did you have a mug of hot choc in your had or a glass of red ;-)

Lisa, same here. There are some gaps in the cloud but not enough that we have a chance of seeing anything. I’ll wait up a little while to see if things change. Hope the weather is cooler with you over the weekend… oh those poor little wrens :-(

shirl said...

Hi again everyone, Yayaaae… just been outside and the cloud is clearing a bit over my garden. I can see stars now… and guess what…

I’ve just been able to see one lonely shooting star across the sky! Fantastic, I really didn’t think I’d see anything. This was at 00:30… I’ll go back out to look again in a little while. I’m the only one up in my household :-)

Orchids and Nature said...

Nothing seen down here in Lancashire got up three times during the night, too much cloud that's typical for our area.

The Wessex Reiver said...

Hi Shirl. I had planned to go to Dorset, but last minute change went to Wiltshire - bad move as very cloudy and nothing to be seen - which intrigues me as the Daily Mail today has a stunning photo of Stonehenge and the meteors....presumably taken last night. Stonehenge is only 15 miles away and was cloud free!!

Midmarsh John said...

Too cloudy here this year Shirl. Have see a few in the past but never the numbers they say. Probably too much artificial lighting close by.

Anja said...

Tried to see them but it got cloudy here. Very dissappointing!

patientgardener said...

Too cloudy here in Worcestershire - disappointing

shirl said...

Hi again Andrew, John, Anja and Helen ;-) Stayed up until 01:30, total count was 5 and 3 were very good. All seen singly. Did plan on getting up before dawn but… that didn’t work ;-) Pleased to see some activity though :-D

Andrew, ain’t that the way! Shame for you :-)

John, yes we had cloud too but it did clear enough. Never seen large numbers either. Although only saw this for the first time last year. Perhaps you’ll see something tonight/this morning :-)

Anja, that’s a shame, perhaps you might see them tonight/this morning :-)

Helen, again, sorry to hear you didn’t see anything either, maybe the skies are better now… if you are still awake to look ;-)

shirl said...

Hi again David, sorry didn’t mean to miss you out above :-)

Good for you getting up during the night… that was my plan too but it didn’t happen! Didn’t want to set alarms and waken the whole household… my excuse to myself when in reality I was a tad tired.

Hopefully you will have less cloud tonight/this morning and perhaps get some sightings… even if it is just one or two :-)

shirl said...

Hi again everyone :-) It’s after midnight on Friday the 13th…. Woooooo… been brave enough to go outside and just seen a couple of small meteors ;-)

Once again, we can see stars but there is clearly cloud up there too as they aren’t as bright as on a good clear night.

Although last night was supposed to be the best night hope you are seeing some sightings tonight. Heading out again in a little while to see what’s going on here then :-)

Wishing you all a good weekend :-D