Meteors ...

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Mick F
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Re: Meteors ...

Postby Mick F » 7 Oct 2017, 6:05pm

When we lived in the east of Scotland - 1974 to 1980 - I had a telescope.
The skies were clear, and if I needed more darkness away from street lights and light pollution and more sky clarity where we lived, I used to drive up into the eastern sides of the Campsie Fells with my telescope and tripod.

We moved to Plymouth in early 1980, and within a few months, I'd sold it all due to hazy and obscured skies. :oops:

I don't expect to see any meteors or anything any more.
Mick F. Cornwall

old_windbag
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Re: Meteors ...

Postby old_windbag » 12 Oct 2017, 12:31pm

Last night was a little breezy but when I saw the cloudless sky and the clarity of the moon I could not resist getting my scope( 8" f5 newtonian ) out to view it. There are many deep sky objects( and planets too ) that can be observed with a telescope but for easy access for many, the moon takes some beating. View by eye, binoculars or any sized scope and it's a fantastic.

I set up quickly in the early hours and had 20 mins of observing, it was like flying over the surface as in the apollo mission films. I could use 100x mag easily without any atmospheric issue, x200 just showing some disturbance. I pushed the boat out to x400 and glad I did, slight focus movement but overall sharp detailed images. The cast shadows of mountains and the appenines, the alpine valley was the best I've ever seen it. I'm pretty sure had I imaged it that the rille down the middle would have been visible. Had I spent longer my own eyes may have seen it.

I really reccomend trying to find a local astronomy group for anyone without access to telescope etc. Go on an observing night and even if it is just the moon you view it'll take your breath away.

Psamathe
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Re: Meteors ...

Postby Psamathe » 12 Oct 2017, 3:26pm

old_windbag wrote:Last night was a little breezy but when I saw the cloudless sky and the clarity of the moon I could not resist getting my scope( 8" f5 newtonian ) out to view it. There are many deep sky objects( and planets too ) that can be observed with a telescope but for easy access for many, the moon takes some beating. View by eye, binoculars or any sized scope and it's a fantastic.

I set up quickly in the early hours and had 20 mins of observing, it was like flying over the surface as in the apollo mission films. I could use 100x mag easily without any atmospheric issue, x200 just showing some disturbance. I pushed the boat out to x400 and glad I did, slight focus movement but overall sharp detailed images. The cast shadows of mountains and the appenines, the alpine valley was the best I've ever seen it. I'm pretty sure had I imaged it that the rille down the middle would have been visible. Had I spent longer my own eyes may have seen it.

I really reccomend trying to find a local astronomy group for anyone without access to telescope etc. Go on an observing night and even if it is just the moon you view it'll take your breath away.

Moon always seems to look better close to the terminator. Full Moon seems just "bland".

My favourite within the solar system is Jupiter or rather the Galilean moons of Jupiter - probably because when studying a course project we had to do was to measure the mass of Jupiter from observing it's Galilean moons. Collect data over time (and I did it just by eye sighting to a ruler held beside eyepiece - horribly inaccurate) and despite the observational inaccuracies curve fit enough data and I was staggered at how accurate the result came out at. So Jupiter's moons have always been special to me.

Ian

old_windbag
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Re: Meteors ...

Postby old_windbag » 12 Oct 2017, 5:55pm

Psamathe wrote:probably because when studying a course project we had to do was to measure the mass of Jupiter from observing it's Galilean moons.


A good little project. I have a few images I took of the jovian moons but jupiter tends to get overexposed as it is quite bright. So I took some correctly exposed images of jupiter then ones of the moons correctly exposed( well to my eye ). The plan was to then use photoshop to combine the images, a job I never completed! Anyway I have the images which is important. Nice thing about jupiter and its moons is that they are visible through moderate strength binoculars and you can see their changeing positions over a day or two. I imaged jupiter earlier in the year, just a random decision but I had missed a transit across the planet by an hour or two, that would have been nice to catch.

With regards to the moon, galileo attempted to measure the height of some of its mountains by the shadows they cast. Quite something for the time and equipment he used. I have a nice book of lunar images from the apollo missions, just a coffee table book, mine is the smaller edition for bookshelf but the larger book I had from the library is very nice to past time looking through with large fold out images too.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Full-Moon-Michael-Light/dp/0224063049?SubscriptionId=AKIAILSHYYTFIVPWUY6Q&tag=duc08-21&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=0224063049

old_windbag
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Re: Meteors ...

Postby old_windbag » 20 Oct 2017, 5:34pm

Orionid meteors to come to a peak this weekend on 20th. Might be worth a look on any clear night in early hours. An excuse to sit out in the dark or even go on a night bike ride to a dark site.

Psamathe
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Re: Meteors ...

Postby Psamathe » 13 Dec 2017, 1:08pm

Geminids tonight (Wed). miserable weather but I've got a brief hour of clear skies forecast. And Moon doesn't rise until after 02:00. Peak rates around midnight (after my forecast clear skies "window"!).

Probably 2nd best after the Persids but many rate Geminids higher - maybe because they/we come along winter with darker skies for longer.

Ian

old_windbag
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Re: Meteors ...

Postby old_windbag » 13 Dec 2017, 1:55pm

Good, something to look forward to. It looks for my area to be clear most of tonight and tomorrow night so if it holds that will be good. Also have my recording of sky at night to watch, the repeat should be on tomorrow night.

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Audax67
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Re: Meteors ...

Postby Audax67 » 13 Dec 2017, 2:05pm

Geminids should have been visible since the beginning of the month, but not one clear night have we had. Just now, rain and sleet are battering against my window so it looks as if this year will be yet another dud. :(
Have we got time for another cuppa?

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661-Pete
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Re: Meteors ...

Postby 661-Pete » 13 Dec 2017, 2:51pm

Before people get either (a) too despondent about 'missing' a meteor shower because of the weather, or (b) all over-excited about getting up in the wee small hours because there's a shower on and the weather's fine.....

....a bit of a damper here! :twisted:

It's true, once in a while (and that's a very long 'while') there comes a meteor display of truly epic proportions - where it looks as if it's almost literally 'raining' meteors. But these occasions are very very rare! The classic example is the Leonids which reach a maximum approximately once every 33 years: in 1833 it is estimated that anything between 100,000 and 240,000 meteors per hour were observed. You won't get that with the Perseids or the Geminids!

But on just about any clear, moonless night, if you sit out long enough, especially after midnight, you are almost certain to witness a few sporadic meteors - that is, meteors not associated with any particular shower, that may appear from any direction and at any time of the year. Certainly, when I've been out imaging with the telescope, when I spend a lot of the time simply relaxing in a garden chair next to the 'scope with my head tilted skywards, I see plenty! And that includes bright ones now and again: I try to record in my notes, any I see that are as bright as Jupiter - or Venus even!

Truth is, on a night when a regular shower like the Perseids is 'on', you are likely to see somewhat more meteors than on a night chosen at random. But not that many more!

I have to admit, I prefer to do this exercise nowadays in summer when it's a bit warmer (even though the shorter nights mean you get less time-window). Wrap up warm and happy meteor-watching!
Pete

Et qui rit des curés d'Oc?/De Meuse raines, houp! de cloques./De quelles loques ce turque coin./Et ne d'anes ni rennes,/Ecuries des curés d'Oc. - Louis d'Antin

old_windbag
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Re: Meteors ...

Postby old_windbag » 13 Dec 2017, 3:17pm

661-Pete wrote:But on just about any clear, moonless night, if you sit out long enough, especially after midnight, you are almost certain to witness a few sporadic meteors - that is, meteors not associated with any particular shower, that may appear from any direction and at any time of the year.


Yes very true and you also get to see man made events every night such as iridium flares, general satellite passes, and every month there will be opportunities to see the passing of the International Space Station. These being man-made the timing is pretty precise so you can venture out a minute or two before. Fireball meteors are very much a hit and miss affair, but if fortunate to see one you'll never forget it.

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Re: Meteors ...

Postby brynpoeth » 13 Dec 2017, 3:37pm

It is a wonder that they nearly all burn up and do not reach the earth, does the atmosphere protect us?
Alternative facts welcome .. Cycling? Of course, but it is far better on a Gillott

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661-Pete
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Re: Meteors ...

Postby 661-Pete » 13 Dec 2017, 3:40pm

brynpoeth wrote:It is a wonder that they nearly all burn up and do not reach the earth, does the atmosphere protect us?

Exactly so. And it protects us from a lot of other nasty stuff besides. Otherwise we'd have been burned to a crisp by the sun's UV light, before now.
Pete

Et qui rit des curés d'Oc?/De Meuse raines, houp! de cloques./De quelles loques ce turque coin./Et ne d'anes ni rennes,/Ecuries des curés d'Oc. - Louis d'Antin

old_windbag
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Re: Meteors ...

Postby old_windbag » 13 Dec 2017, 3:42pm

brynpoeth wrote:does the atmosphere protect us?


If I could speak to a brontosaurus he'd maybe have a different opinion.

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Re: Meteors ...

Postby brynpoeth » 13 Dec 2017, 3:59pm

old_windbag wrote:
brynpoeth wrote:does the atmosphere protect us?


If I could speak to a brontosaurus he'd maybe have a different opinion.


There was a really good film :wink: a couple of years ago, The Good Dinosaur (Arlo & Spot)
At the beginning a meteor just misses the earth and the extinction event does not take place
The action resumes millions of years later, dinosaurs have learned to speak but humans have not, a dinosaur and a human go travelling together
Much better than Star Wars IMHO

Thanks for reminding me of it
Alternative facts welcome .. Cycling? Of course, but it is far better on a Gillott

old_windbag
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Re: Meteors ...

Postby old_windbag » 13 Dec 2017, 4:19pm

From a sci-fi and environmental perspective I've always liked Silent Running.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067756/mediaviewer/rm2701669632

Very easy to anthropomorphise with huey, duey and louey the robots. Especially when one gets "killed", quite a sad point in the film.