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Hi all,

Well, the Perseid meteor shower is starting off this evening, peaking 12th/13th August. My astro-mag gives a ZHR of around 100, so I can't wait to grab some sun-lounger time for this annual beauty.

Have any of you got any Perseid parties planned, or some meteor shower gatherings? What are your plans to observe this shower?

Do any of you have any experiences of the Perseids you'd like to share? I've never made a point of observing a meteor shower before, although seeing meteors in the past whilst out and about I have been able to tag them to a specific shower. This will be my first time dedicating some time to watching the sky fall :)

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Nice :) hope it's clear for you. Be lovely to see the meteors burning up and hearing the lapping waves...

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Have any of you got any Perseid parties planned, or some meteor shower gatherings? What are your plans to observe this shower?
Hi Amanda,

No parties planned, but I will be in Northern Spain (near Ginestar) on a NNE facing hillside at my partners fathers house from 4th-10th August :D And he has a telescope (4" reflector) too :) In fact, it's him who got me into this money pit... err.. I mean hobby.. in the first place :p

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Same as last year, a sun lounger in the back garden, a bottle of JD, and the neighbours thinking I've finally cracked.

Best tip is sellotape your eyelids open, if you blink, you're sure to miss one.

Last year was a bit disappointing for me apart from one really bright one that passed directly overhead and left a green trail.

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apart from one really bright one that passed directly overhead and left a green trail.

Now that actually sounds familiar !!

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Yeah, I seem to remember a few folk spotted that one last year. Spectacular though and made up for all the other "damp squibs"

Lets hope this year is better.

Oh Amanda, wrap up warm, you don't want to be running inside for a coat during the peak.

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thanks for the heads up, it's now in my calendar.

I too will be out in the rain, looking for a gap in the clouds.........only joking, I'm sure it will be clear :D:)!

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I went to a darkish site called Danbury (many moons ago) and spent the whole night observing them.

My memory is a little vague now, but I'm sure that between all of us we saw something like 800+, and I saw around 500 of those...

I have to say though that the last few years has been dire!

I'll be out if clear, but won't be holding my breath!!!

Ant

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Great responses everyone..

arad - have a lovely time... get the beer in :p

looking forward to some (maybe) green ones, we can only hope!

ZOG - I've got a whole draw dedicated to 'wrap-up-warm-its-an-all-nighter' marathons, cold I will not be :)

looking forward to this, even my younger sister is, if she can muster up enthusiasm for something it must be worth it! be great to have some reports posted about the number you saw, any unusual colours etc. and of course your fellow meteor-mates' reactions :D

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yeh hopefully get sum gud viewing myself this year of meteor showers, as appose to shooting stars which i used to think they were, when i was younger like most people

James

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Wow, awesome! Thanks much for reminding about Perseids! I really was going to miss them because of my forgetful head. By the way, the greateast activity will be in Perseus, right?

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arad - have a lovely time... get the beer in :D
Will do :), but I'm on wine - low carb diet :p

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Ahhhh.....sweet.

I remember tramping out of the house with a very small torch into the adjacent fields, on August 12th 2007 - when it was a very good show, up to 100 an hour at peak. I can't remember the exact time of the peak, might have been in the early morning of the 12th August.

Didn't stay in the field for long, as in the silence I heard strange shufflings and snortings - switching on my small torch with nearly expired batteries, I was horrified to see many dozens of gleaming eyes staring at me!!!!

Decided to leg it - and the next morning I felt absolutely stupid as a lifelong countryside dweller, because they were simply cattle I was previously unaware of. Seriously - I am not afraid of cows - it was I wasn't expecting them to be in the field, as it was empty at sunset.

Spent the rest of the night on a sun lounger in the safety of my garden, staring at the sky, watching the shower. What a fabulous show!! Looking forward to it this year. :) Trouble is, the sunlounger is broke...:D

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" By the way, the greateast activity will be in Perseus, right?"

No, fraid not - Perseus is the radiant of the shower, the place where the meteors will appear to be coming from if you trace back their trail - a ruler can be useful for this as a guide.

Sadly the moon will be a little bright on the maxima nights (mornings) this year - so probably best to view North with the moon (in the east) shaded, if you can arrange it. Thats the best direction from my back garden anyway, so I tend to watch the northern sky, around the plough and cassiopeia.

/callump

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Thinking back to last year there were a couple of bonuses. Most of the meteors were travelling North, certainly the big one, but I did spot a couple travelling East to West, not Persieds but nice all the same. In fact while meteor watching you tend to see a lot more than you expect thanks to all the hardware up there.

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Just been out on a sun lounger with a beer while deciding which way the clouds are moving. Sheer bliss just looking at the stars and satellites. Bang on 11.00 p.m. saw a magnificent meteor in the eastern sky. It went through the middle of Pegasus and on to Altair - leaving a lingering smoke trail over its full length. As it came from the general direction of Perseus it was probably an early Perseid. Our local astro society always have a Perseid barbeque out in the country (Lincolnshire) on 12 August. The last two years have been brilliant - very clear and hundreds of meteors.

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If you're going to lie under the stars looking for Perseids, consider checking Heavens Above first for ISS passes and Iridium Flares for an added bonus. Clear skies.

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One of my earliest astronomy related memories and one of the most impressive ones is a meteor seen around 8 years ago. It was nothing like ususal small sparks in the sky. Instead I saw a big flame-coloured thing that however lasted not more than a second. As far as I remember it was very bright, not as bright as Sun of course but much brighter than Jupiter, Venus or anything I can compare it too. It was really impressive and I'd like to see it again. I guess you have a very big meteor-watching experience so could you tell me if such events are very common and it's possible to see such a thing every time meteor shower takes place or is that more like one-in-a-lifetime occurrence?

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Best tip is sellotape your eyelids open, if you blink, you're sure to miss one.

:) I done that last year. Got some black insulating tape, laid on the lounger with my eyes taped open. Kids found it very funny indeed.

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Your fireball could have been a bit of space debris hitting the Earth's atmosphere. Meteors can appear like that but a very rare event in my experience. I imagine larger meteors cause a fireball has they burn up in the atmosphere. The vast majority are streaks of light. There is usually at least one shower every month named after the constellation they appear to emanate from - Perseids from Perseus, Leonids from Leo etc. In between we get entirely random ones. Each shower has slightly different characteristics, e.g. some showers have faster or slower meteors than others. Nice ones have a smoke or ionisation trail. You can also get hints of colour. They are caused by debris left in the Earth's orbit around the Sun by passing comets.

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My usual August the 12th consits of a visit to the moors to bag a grouse or two,then take the missus out for a meal as its our anniversary and then lie out on the sun lounger hoping to catch a persied or two before the the alcohol intake starts to induce deep sleep.

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