Perseids

Ever since I first discovered that shooting stars are meteors, and that a fantastic meteor shower happens every year on the night of August 11/12 (easy to remember – Liz’s birthday), I’ve wanted to watch them. And it’s never happened. I’ve either not had access to outside, or it’s been cloudy, or a full moon, or I’ve had to work the next day (the reason I’ve never seen the Oscars all the way through – well, work and because the Oscars are really fucking boring and I fall asleep) or I’ve been living under a streetlamp.

This year, it’s a weekend. I have a garden. I know it’s London but there’s no streetlights immediately around. There’s no moon. I’m hoping it’ll be clear. I want to sit outside and watch the Earth pass through the Perseid meteors.

The Plough seemed to revolve around my parents’ old house . I had a sixth form job that involved coming home around one in the morning, and on clear nights I could stand in the drive and always see it directly overhead but in a different position as the year moved on. The Plough roots me. I can see it from my garden but I can’t tell if it’s spinning round my house yet. Maybe it does that to everyone, but I haven’t done long-term studies from any position other than the driveway in Drighlington. Anyway, seeing shooting stars is on my all-time top-five astronomy viewing list (yes, I am watching High Fidelity, how did you know?) and I’ll hopefully spend Saturday night crossing it off.

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6 responses to “Perseids

  1. Nick August 9, 2007 at 4:13 pm

    Check this out then:
    http://www.heavens-above.com/
    They will give you the best times, right ascensions and declinations for the centre of the shower. Also good for finding the next iridium flare (worth seeing – there’s one nearly everyday)
    After midnight is good, but I’m not sure when they will peak. Shame about the light pollution – I have seen a perseid shower in Greece at this time of year with a fireball every 10 seconds as well.

  2. Nick August 9, 2007 at 4:21 pm

    Me again – I’m a buff for this sort of thing – sorry for infesting your blog:
    http://meteorshowersonline.com/perseids.html

  3. Nicodemus August 9, 2007 at 6:26 pm

    There’s an Iridium flare tonight at 21:03, check out heavensabove. They are a bit of a giggle, knowing it’s the reflection off the solar panels of a satellite bright enough to be seen in daylight.
    N

  4. kate August 20, 2007 at 9:56 am

    Guess what? We saw the shower really clearly in Greece. Any luck here?

  5. Rachel August 20, 2007 at 9:19 pm

    Absolutely bollocks all! Too much light pollution I guess.

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