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Perseid Meteor Shower To Peak This Weekend 118

Posted by Hemos
from the go-out-and-watch-the-sights dept.
Krishna Dagli writes "This weekend provides one of the year's best opportunities to see some "shooting stars". The annual Perseid meteor display is expected to peak on Friday and Saturday night. Meteors are bits of dust or rock that plunge into the Earth's atmosphere and burn up, making bright streaks in the sky. It does not take a large object to produce a visible meteor — most are the size of a grain of sand or a small pebble."
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Perseid Meteor Shower To Peak This Weekend

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  • by WilliamSChips (793741) <full,infinity&gmail,com> on Sunday August 13, 2006 @12:11AM (#15896972) Journal
    They're the aliens, trying to establish contact but getting attacked by the USAF.
  • by iced_773 (857608) <`ten.yevadnai' `ta' `nai'> on Sunday August 13, 2006 @12:12AM (#15896977)
    is expected to peak on Friday and Saturday night.

    Shoot, I missed most of it.
    • Re:Late Late Late (Score:5, Informative)

      by eln (21727) on Sunday August 13, 2006 @12:24AM (#15897022) Homepage
      Really, what's the point of even posting this now? If people weren't aware of it, it's too late to do anything about it now. Personally, living in an urban area, I would have to travel an hour or more away just to get far enough out of the city to be able to see this thing, so maybe a post about it on, say, thursday night or friday afternoon would have been more helpful.

      I've seen the Perseid shower before, on Boy Scout trips as a youth, but watching it with my own son would be quite an experience. Oh well, this story at least reminded me of it, so maybe I'll be able to prepare to see it next year.
      • Re:Late Late Late (Score:5, Informative)

        by JPribe (946570) <jpribe@@@pribe...net> on Sunday August 13, 2006 @02:21AM (#15897291) Homepage
        Put it on your calendar for next year, there won't be any moon to contend with. I took the wife and my Canon 20d out...while I didn't get any good photos of streaking light (I have better luck with lightning,) we did see a few really good ones, but the moon rose about 10:30 and it was a waste after that. The moon is just past full, and was really, really bright tonight.
        • Re:Late Late Late (Score:3, Informative)

          by bhmit1 (2270)
          There are also a few other good showers this year to catch. Both Orionids (Oct 21st) and Geminids (Dec 14th) are said to be decent without so much moon interference. Or just fill your calendar with a whole list [wikipedia.org]. Now if I only knew a good place to drive to get away from the city lights. Any suggestions for those of us living in Northern VA?
          • Re:Late Late Late (Score:3, Informative)

            by Trailwalker (648636)
            Any suggestions for those of us living in Northern VA?

            a. Skyline Drive

            b. Blue Ridge Parkway

            c. move
            • Skyline drive is beautiful, I enjoy a day hike there whenever I can get away. But the road isn't always open after dusk and there are lots of trees and the occasional headlight that mess up a good picture. I was thinking more along the line of a battlefield or park in Manassas or Haymarket.
            • d. The Chesapeake Bay (or better yet, the Atlantic proper).
          • Or just fill your calendar with a whole list.

            And here we see a limitation of wiki's extension of the UNIX 'everything is plain, unstructured, text' philosophy. Does this list exist in iCalendar format somewhere so I can just subscribe to it?

        • With your Canon 20d, once the moon came up, why didn't you just use the flash?
          • I really hope you are being facetious...if not, well, a flash won't help when I am doing 1-3 minute exposures of the night sky.
            • Hoped that if noticed, it would be figured to be funny. Back as a kid in science class our teacher was telling us how to use a time exposure to photograph the stars. One kid brought down the house with such a statement, "Why use time exposure when you have a flash?".
      • Man, the lesson learned there is just not to rely on /. as a timely news source.

        This [bbc.co.uk] would have told you in plenty of time, for instance - I think it was there before the end of my work-day on Wednesday.

        Unfortuntately it's been way too cloudy here (NE England) to see anything, after 2 months of cloudless skies....

      • Really, what's the point of even posting this now? If people weren't aware of it, it's too late to do anything about it now.

        Don't worry. For, you see, I know Superman.

        I can get him to fly real fast around the world, thus reversing time and bringing us back to a point before when this story should've been posted.
      • by snafu109 (852770) on Sunday August 13, 2006 @04:20AM (#15897441)
        In other news, Halley's Comet is expected to pass by Earth sometime in 1986. It should be quite a sight!
      • Actually I saw it when I gazed out the window last night and I live in an urban setting.
        When you travel far enough you can see several per hour.
      • Re:Late Late Late (Score:5, Informative)

        by castrox (630511) <stefan@ve[ ]l.se ['rze' in gap]> on Sunday August 13, 2006 @07:29AM (#15897745)
        It is only peaking this weekend. It will be visible a great deal longer - till august 20th or something. So pack your bags...
      • Re:Late Late Late (Score:3, Informative)

        by Baloo Ursidae (29355)
        Probably because peak visibility of that meteor shower happens between midnight and dawn Pacific time, so most of the country had plenty of time to pull it together and drive out for an all-nighter.
      • From TFA: "the best strategy [to see the shower] is to lie down and stare at as large a patch of sky as possible."


        If I lie down in my back yard I can barely see the dull orange glow of Philadelphia to the south. Strangely, no meteors! Or stars for that matter. I go to school in Washington DC and we had to do all of out observing for astronomy class on computers with simulation software. Too much of the world is bathed in constant light pollution. I miss living in the midwest.

    • dont worry.. it'll be back in 133 years, which means the next time you'll be able to see it with your bionic eyes! @.@
    • So ironically enough, I was just outside and I noticed a couple of these, then I come inside and find out they have a Slashdot article about it..
    • The story was posted a few minutes before sunrise here (Germany).
    • Maybe too late for nightime viewing but not too late for Meteor Scatter. Anyone for a WSJT sched on the rocks?
  • Erm.. (Score:2, Informative)

    Hello this is Slashdot. I don't think we really needed the 3rd grade scienst lesson.

    Plus you know it is sort of Sunday here in the UK, doesn't that make this news story rather useless to a large population of the readers (not to mention Americans who will be sleeping at 11pm - Guy trying to be funny. It's not funny that Slashdotters sit up late, save the joke).
    • Re:Erm.. (Score:4, Funny)

      by gadzook33 (740455) on Sunday August 13, 2006 @12:18AM (#15897000)
      I don't think we really needed the 3rd grade scienst lesson.

      but a spelling one would be nice.
    • Re:Erm.. (Score:1, Funny)

      by TrippTDF (513419)
      Hello this is Slashdot. I don't think we really needed the 3rd grade scienst lesson.

      Spelling, on the other hand...
    • Tags are not comments, they're ment to help people search for topics. Write a comment or leave

      Well, the most common tags include "yes", "no", "fud", "notfud", "duh", and "maybe", so it appears the democratic process has pwned your opinion.
      • Re:Your signature (Score:2, Informative)

        by Alioth (221270)
        Things like 'fud' and 'wishfulthinking' are perfectly valid as tags - if you want to search for stories that Slashdotters thought were FUD or wishful thinking. There's room for more than one tag - so something tagged 'linux', 'fud' and 'wishfulthinking' would allow people to, say, find stories about Linux that Slashdotters thought were fud (or wishful thinking) or just plainly about Linux.
      • You seem to be talking shit. Just because idiots don't listen doesn't mean thats what they're ment to be used that way.

        Yes, No and Maybe should not be on every damn article posted. They're not useful for anything because all 3 link up together in the same article more times than not.

        Fud and notfud on the other hand are perfectly valid tags. Could be useful to see how much fud is posted on slashdot for example.

        Also this "democracy" you speak of is a fictional idea on Slashdot. We live in a state where random
  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Sunday August 13, 2006 @12:14AM (#15896992)
    This year's Perseid shower is a dud, due to a nearly full moon.
  • I sense... (Score:4, Funny)

    by wwiiol_toofless (991717) on Sunday August 13, 2006 @12:20AM (#15897007)
    A great disturbance in the Force. It was like a million voices crying out in unison, then suddenly silenced as millions of Dads finally attempted to use their $600 Costco telescopes, only to realize they had thrown out their manuals with the box...
  • I like the formatting of this story, especially the use of the anchor tag. Very refreshing.
  • Um... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Kawahee (901497)
    "This weekend provides one of the year's a href="http://www.newscientistspace.com/article.ns? id=dn9732&feedId=space_rss20">best opportunities to see some "shooting stars". The annual Perseid meteor display is expected to peak on Friday and Saturday night. ..."

    Aren't slashdot editor's meant to be able to understand HTML? Another prime example for my signature:
  • Too late (Score:4, Funny)

    by FlyByPC (841016) on Sunday August 13, 2006 @12:23AM (#15897016) Homepage
    ...looks like the posting's HTML got holed by one of the Perseids -- one of the tags got taken clean out!
  • Perhaps a little ability to check tags before posting might be nice...?
  • a href="goatse.us">Here it is.\a>

    (Ignore this after they fix the typo in the story ;)
  • I've got plenty of "<'s" if the editors need some. I'll sell 'em for cheap.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 13, 2006 @12:26AM (#15897031)
    I camped on the summit of a 14,000ft peak last night. I've never seen so many shooting stars despite the full moon and the light pollution of a distant city. It was beautiful... also cold.
    • I camped on the summit of a 14,000ft peak last night. I've never seen so many shooting stars

      Are you sure those are shooting stars? If you're not well acclimated, funny things can happen as low as 10k. Speaking from experience here, although if you hiked up you probably did it slow enough. I had the rather interesting experience of driving up Mt. Evans in Colorado after spending less than a week in Denver, and my home alt. is less than 500 ft. There were no shooting stars as it was broad daylight, j

    • It was beautiful... also cold.

      And hard to breathe, I would imagine? Oxygen is required for pilots flying above 10,000ft. At 14,000, your vision would be diminished due to hypoxia, and you probably didn't see nearly as many meteorites as you could have.
      • I don't think the people of Cerro De Pasco [wikipedia.org] would very much disagree with you.
      • Hard to Breathe? (Score:3, Informative)

        by lullabud (679893)
        Almost anybody who lives in the mountains of Colorado knows you don't need oxygen to climb a 14er. You say 10,000 feet requires oxygen? That means that all the people who are skiing at places like Crested Butte would need oxygen, since you get off the ski lift more than a thousand feet above that altitude. Skiing is also much more vigorous than flying a plane, but people don't go blind from lack of oxygen while doing it, even above 10,000 feet.

        FAA regulations are overly cautious due to other circumsta
        • First time I tried to do high altitude climbing was on Mt Whitney. The first day we climbed to 12,500 feet. After setting up camp we prepared dinner, which turned out to be a mistake. The oxygen required to digest the food drove my blood oxygen concentration low enough that I experienced severe hypoxia. We had to break camp and climb back below 10K feet in the dark, definitly not a fun experience. After spending the next day back at 12,500 feet I managed to reach the 14,500 foot summit on day three. The nex
        • You say 10,000 feet requires oxygen?

          Well, the FAA seems to think so:

          http://www.faa.gov/pilots/safety/pilotsafetybrochu res/media/hypoxia.pdf [faa.gov]

          But as they say, every person's reaction to hypoxia is different.
          • Naturally so, every person's reaction to it would be different. However, the PDF seems to agree with what I said, that you are enouraged to use Oxygen, but not *required*, as your original post said. That said, I'd want my pilot taking all the ncessecary precautions when flying VFR. Star gazing is still another matter altogether. ;-)
            • by edunbar93 (141167)
              Star gazing is still another matter altogether. ;-)

              Another matter in which I'm an expert. :) (And so are they [hawaii.edu])

              While the view generally gets better the higher you go, the higher you go above 10,000 ft, the less oxygen your brain and eyeballs get to see with. O2 improves this so much at 14,000 ft, I've heard pilots describe the difference as "like turning the lights on". Especially at night (someone else mentioned that the FAR rules are lower at night as well).

              While I expect that the view was quite spectacula
  • by MattS423 (987689) on Sunday August 13, 2006 @12:31AM (#15897041)
    "Well, you should have used the preview button!"
  • Use the Preview Button! Check those URLs!
  • Sucked this year (Score:2, Informative)

    by Locarius (798304)
    I went out with my girlfriend tonight to take a look, but it pretty much sucked. I saw one blip and that was all. The moon was far too bright and made viewing impossible.
  • Okay so I signed up to test the new comment system. I like it a lot, but I find that on my monitor that the threshold control box/.js/ajaxy whatever thing... Well its in the way.

    Could it be a rounded edge thing? It stands out like it is.It almost even *infringes*. It has potential but it could be better. WTF do i know? Nothing.
    And where should I post this? Paters journal?

  • by chromozone (847904) on Sunday August 13, 2006 @12:56AM (#15897109)
    My hometown of Peekskill New york got hit with a meteorite back in the 90's. It crashed through the back of an old junker car belonging to 17 year old girl. She was in tears. Turned out she got about 80,000 USD for the rock and the car. It was only known car to be hit. The car and meteorite went on display in Museum Of Natural History and other museums around the world. It was also filmed going across sky in Washington. Every year around this time I hope for my car to get hit. A view of meteor in sky before it hit is on this cool meteor site:

      http://fireball.meteorite.free.fr/index_en.html [meteorite.free.fr]
  • closing anchor tags (Score:3, Informative)

    by 56ker (566853) on Sunday August 13, 2006 @01:06AM (#15897135) Homepage Journal
    As it seems closing tags is beyond people here is the correct link [newscientistspace.com] for those who can't be bothered going through the rigmarole of copy & paste.
  • When is Leonid peaking?
  • by fm6 (162816)

    Meteors are bits of dust or rock that plunge into the Earth's atmosphere and burn up, making bright streaks in the sky.

    Ah, the wikipedia mentality: lots of desire to "explain", no actual grasp of the facts. I'm not even going to touch the "dust or rock" description. But note that meteors come in all sizes. It's true that most burn up in the atmosphere. (I seem to recall reading that this happens thousands of times a day.) But some are big enough to leave their remains (meteorites) [unm.edu] on the surface of the plan

  • I only saw this thread because I ran up to where I can get an 802.11 signal to check a weather forecast. I wanted to make sure we’re not gonna get rained on... by the time this gets modded offtopic me and my woman will be on Waikiki Beach with a camera, a tripod, and a bottle of whisky.

  • by olego (899338)
    *looks outside*

    It's cloudy tonight.

    *crawls back into bed*

    Maybe next time.
  • by zenst (558964) on Sunday August 13, 2006 @04:18AM (#15897438) Homepage Journal
    SImple - If I read anything about a meteor shower that is has the slightest chance of being visable to the naked eye. Then I know for a fact it will be one of the most misrable clodiest days for ages, even after few good solid weeks without a cloud in the sky.

    We had meteor forcast, its cloudy that even the clouds are obscured by clouds.

    I there conclude that all these reports of meteor showrs are causing global warming - FIN :).
  • Will this be the only meteor shower this year of this magnitude? If I had had more warning I would have gone away camping up somewhere high and out of town.

    Would really appreciate the info!
  • I saw about 10 in a half hour. One was awesome...streaked about 60 degrees right across my field of view. It was cloudy earlier, but it has since cleared up (5:00am CDT).
  • by Jugalator (259273) on Sunday August 13, 2006 @07:59AM (#15897792) Journal
    On Slashdot, you're reminded of stuff that matters a full year in advance!

    Thanks!
  • Dupe! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Koohoolinn (721622)
    It's a dupe because we've had reports about this on 2004/08/10 [slashdot.org], 2003/08/13 [slashdot.org], 2002/08/08 [slashdot.org], ...

    I can almost see a pattern emerging... D'oh!
  • Staying awake all night, shivering, having to watch for critters--all to see 12, count 'em 12, streaks of light. Bah.
    • Went outside 0100 to 0230 (it's always best after local midnight because THEN your location has swung around the limb so that the debris is coming head-on - kind of useless to go out before 0000). Saw 'bout a couple dozen - big 'uns 'n little 'uns. Last couple years have been cloudy in August, so this was a good one in CT.
    • Sheesh, I was in the Berkshires and didn't know it was Perseid time. I just did a bit of star gazing because I'm usually in areas of too much light pollution and wanted to see the Milky Way for the first time in ~30 years. I just saw two meteors, but was quite impressed with that.
  • My fiancee and I were camping last weekend in Muskegon, Michigan and saw a pretty impressive display (maybe the beginning or the Perseids) last Saturday around 4-5am. The moon had set by then and we had a good view of Casseopia and Perseus just coming over the horizen. We hadn't gotten up originally to watch for meteors, but they got my attention when our campsite got lit up by a small fireball overhead. We watched for about 45 minutes and saw about 2 fast moving and faint meteors per minute. It was one
  • Did google ban this from being published until Sunday? Now that it's over, what's the point?

  • Leonid is predicted to bathe rather than shower next year as above average rainfall has been reported this year.

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