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Shooting stars tonight

If you haven't already heard, there's going to be one of the best meteor showers for years tonight. The "Leonid" shower is apparently made of debris from when a comet passed by the sun about 200 years ago. There's two large clouds. One will be best viewable from Europe at around 4:00 am GMT. The second meteor cloud will be best seen in the atmosphere over the US at about 5:30 am EST. The best viewing is in areas where it's right before dawn, because that "leading edge" of the planet is what's going to be plowing into the clouds of comet dust. So while the coming dawn might make it harder to see them, you get more. So a good idea is to be watching for a while before the peak, when it could potentially be many per minute.

See NASA's predictions to find out when the best viewing times are (and estimates of how many you'll see) in your area. I need to figure out where I want to go to see them, if I want to do anything more than step out on the porch.

- Pookah

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
ekilon
Nov. 19th, 2002 05:25 am (UTC)
damn you with a spoon - I read this too late :-(
and i was AWAKE
and SORTOF in europe then.
pookah
Nov. 19th, 2002 07:24 am (UTC)
I tried! Ah well. I'd hoped you'd be able to translate GMT to your local time; I don't know anyone else currently on that side of the Atlantic. Guess I need to be more interesting so you'd check more often. Heh.

I lucked out, because most of my coworkers live to the south of me and ended up clouded over. I walked out on the porch at 5:30 this morning, looked overhead into the crisp, clear skies and saw two meteors flash by almost immediately. One was really long. It was too cold to stay out there for long, but I hadn't intended to. My wife's tiredness overcame her interest so I was by myself.

I heard the International Space Station also had an awesome view. That's gotta be weird, looking down at the planet and seeing these flashing streaks of light. I wonder how the dust cloud looks as it passes the station ... I have no idea of what the density is, or if there's any larger bits or what have you.

- Pookah
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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