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Geo

Meteor shower? M103

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The skies opened for a couple of hours this evening and I took my chance to have my first evening in the front garden. This was my first time observing the Northern sky as I've only been in the back garden previously (South).

Cassiopea was directly above so I immediately went Messier hunting. Found M103 almost right away and spent a while looking at it, this was my first messier object so I had a proper look. I changed over to my new Baader Hyperion 17mm wide angle and this really provided the best view. As I was looking, what looked like a shooting star shot right across it and disappeared. Woah. A few seconds later another, as this one was shooting across i looked up in the general direction with my naked eye....nothing. What could it have been? A trick of the light? A meteor? The latter I hope.

I then moved East and saw M36, M37 and M38. I know they are not the most awe-inspiring objects but it was good to see them nonetheless. After that I felt myself going back to M103 and hoping for more of what happened earlier, but no such luck.

There was also a funny moment when the neighbours came out to see what I was doing, they ended up spending almost an hour in the garden with me! "Amazing, Woah and I want one" were some of the things said about the telescope. One of them even said I looked like Brian Cox, haha! I shall take that as a compliment (I think).

I was also listening to the Astronomy Cast Podcast through my session tonight, I'd recommend if you haven't heard it.

So yeah, what did I see at M103?

Edited by Geo

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Could you have possibly seen a satellite instead of a meteor? Congratulations on your first Messier object, When I saw my first I made a dance around the telescope. I was lucky that no neighbours were looking outside! Like you, when and if they do, they are always amazed at what can be seen!

I wish you many more clear nights and happy messier hunting!

Isabelle

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Thanks Isabelle :) All I could describe it as is a shooting star. I have no idea what a satellite would look like through my scope but this seemed like a bright, fast-moving star. I really thought I was seeing things but it happened twice. It whooshed across my field of view in the same general direction.

If someone comes in here and says no way it could have been a shooting star then I'll accept that, maybe my eye(s) were playing tricks. Wouldn't be the first time. :(

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A bright fast moving star? I've seen many and became excited every time I saw one until someone said that it was a satellite. I have to say that I liked my explanation better until,.. I did see a shooting star and nearly fell backwards from my scope when I saw it. Then and only then did I believe everyone that had said it was a satellite.

What does a satellite look like? It's a bright dot that moves very fast across your eyepiece mimicking (for me) like a shooting star. The shooting star on the other hand was blinding. I was told that I had been extremely lucky to have seen it. one person even told me to buy lottery tickets. So if you saw two then I would say that the jackpot's got your name on it tonight!

and no,.. your eyes were not playing tricks on you. You definitely saw something but I have to put my (ahem) bets on the satellite.

but of course, I have been wrong before,.. :)

Isabelle

Edited by stolenfeather

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It certainly wasn't blinding, your description of the satellite sounds a LOT like what I saw. Oh well, at least it's something eh?

Oh dear it's 3.11am, bedtime for me. I was recently in your lovely country, at my aunt's house in Ontario. I think that's on the opposite side of Canada to you. All of 3000 odd miles. Often forget Canada is vast!

Good evening, and clear skies to you Isabelle.

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I still gasp when I see a satellite myself so it IS something. As for being in Ontario,.. It's not that far from where I am. I go camping all the time in Ontario and from Montreal, it is about a three hour car ride. From my northern location though,.. it is a full 14 hours! :)

Good night and may your skies be bright tomorrow for another viewing. As for me,.. I'm in the middle of a snow storm!

Isabelle

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nice one geo. i saw two shooters within 30 seconds the other night while looking toward the plough with the naked eye. was waiting for my scope to cool down. its a nice sight.

most shooting stars(meteors) are fast bright but fizzle out quickly. my guess is a meteor is what you witnessed.

clear skies

.

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