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Perseid Watch - Part the second


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Another night, and it started out the same, cloudy all day, still pretty cloudy as the sun was going down, and soon cleared shortly after sundown. Once the sky got completely dark, I setup the meteor lounger, and set down at around 2230 for a viewing session. I left the kit indoors, and just enjoyed the clear skies.

It was another superb sky, the Milky Way was clearly visible across the middle of the sky. It seems that when there has been rain and clouds, and they clear, the sky is left far clearer and cleaner than normal. Within a few minutes, I'd seen 5 Perseids, the 5th being by far and away the best with a long glowing trail left behind as it burnt across the sky. Over the course of the next 1.5 hours, I kept watch, spotting a total of 23 Perseids, 10 satellites, and 6 transient meteors blasting across the sky, although of those 4 looked to be heading towards Perseus instead of from the radiant, quite a surprise.

Again, M31 was visible with averted vision, so it goes to show how good the sky is around here I reckon.

I popped indoors at midnight to warm up, get a cuppa and get a blanket. Whilst my top half wasn't as cold (another layer) my legs were really cold after an hour and a half. The bad news is, when I went back out, I only saw another 3 Perseids, before, I started dozing off... Not really wanting to fall asleep in the garden, in the damp and cold air, I figured it was a much better idea to come in.

So a good haul of 26 Perseids, 10 Satellites and 6 Transients, with a great view of Cygnus, Cassie, Andromeda, Lyra, Aquilla and the glowing band of the Milky Way.

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Im in the Midlands and had a fantastic night! Me, the Mrs and a few locals sat in a field just down the road and managed to see a total of 43 Meteors (Not sure how many were perseids) within the space of an hour. 1 of which was huge and scared my other half as it flashed on entry and left a 5-6s train! It was amazing, the night then clouded over about midnight so we called it a night! All in all well worth it and a fantastic night! :p

Eddy

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After being thwarted by cloud for most of the week, I finally got to see some of these beauties last night...Wrapped up warm, on a sun lounger in the garden, ipod on, with the best fireworks display i've seen overhead. Loved it.

I even managed to get the scope out for a quick look at jupe and uranus too, the first time it's been used for months.

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You saw what I saw, John - it really was clear and I too could see the band of the MW, M31 and the Double Cluster. I did have one spooky apparition and as you are into these things, you may be able to shed some light (arrgghh, pun) - A satellite went over fairly slowly but it FLASHED a very bright light with a regular period of 13 seconds (by manual count) heading from SSW to NNE taking about 3 minutes to pass from overhead to about 30 degrees above the horizon - any thoughts? 'Twas NOT a plane!

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I stayed out till just after midnight when it clouded over did clear later but didnt go back out I saw quite a few didnt keep count though...

Steve - Possibly a slowly rotating satellite with a flat surface causing the brighter reflection every rotation or partial rotation if there were a few of these surfaces.

Peter

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I had a watch from my back door last night, one really bright one and 3 dimmer, also is that cloud.... no its the Milky Way !!!

Awesome!

The sky is so packed with stars here Im not used to it, constelations stood out quiet well in Brum as they were all I could see LOL !!!

I do have 2 Street lights which need to be "sorted"....

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Yes, we were lucky in Bath as well (so presumably those up the road at Salisbury had a good night too). I lost count of the number of meteors - I did make a note of 7 in 30 mins between 0200-0230, and like John, did catch a couple of sporadics appearing to be heading "home" towards Perseus. I also spotted 6 satellites in the space of 10 mins at about 0930, and I wasn't really even looking! I didn't catch one like the one from a couple of nights ago, but there were 2 or 3 that came close.

The sky did seem VERY clear last night, so rather than waste it, I did set up the kit and experimented on M31 and towards the end of the night had a quick look at Jupiter with the Toucam. I haven't really looked at them yet, but I did see one M31 frame when downloading which had a streak in it - I suspect its a satellite, but oh well, it was a superb night.

I'm not sure I have the energy again tonight (or even today - Bed at 05:45, up 3 hours later, working day ahead!), but I hope the clouds stay clear again (especially for those who didn't see much last night).

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Good stuff guys...

Interesting Steve, sounds like either, Peter's description or a tumbler... a satellite that has lost stability and is rotating. Calsky list a few of these, so might be worth a check on there for info.

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I was clouded out at 10pm, so went to bed and woke up at 1:30am to clear skies. So headed out, but was distracted by a pair of new Radians and opened up the obsy to take a look at Jupiter. By 2am was starting to think about Perseids, but by then a bank of cloud was rolling in from the north and I was totally clouded out by 2:15am.

D'oh. Saw zilch. Apart from a great view of Jupiter, I suppose!

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Repeated the night before but only for an hour, counted 20 between 2200 and 2300 when a bank of cloud rolled across, even had a cup of tea brought out by my wife who thought I was quite mad. But then she often thinks that :p

Packed up and then saw that there was more clear sky to come but by this time I was tired so saw three more and called it a night. Yet another clear night as you say John its always steady seeing after rain, it washes all the dust out of the sky in the lower levels and drops the temperature a bit. Could see two mag 5.8 stars in Lyra which was just about on the zenith for me so about as good as it gets where I am.

I am sure I missed loads though as my back garden is surrounded by houses and trees up to about 30 degrees. So a total of 23 in an hour and a bit, more activity than the previous night and another hour of Terry Goodkind listened to :)

If only my back and legs were working properly I would have got my scope out or at least the binos.

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We spent about 30 minutes in the back garden at about 10.30pm. My 10yr old daughter saw the first meteor and went potty as normally when anything like this comes around she's never looking in the right place at the right time.

We saw six in total, one of which was really bright, leaving a smoky trail that hung there for a few seconds. Two randomly shot NNE to SSW and the rest E to W. We also saw several satellites slowly traversing and watched Jupiter rising into the night sky. Sadly, we can't see the Milky Way from our location due to LP, but there's plenty to see with a good pair of 10x50s and a half decent scope on a clear night.

We were in N Wales a few years back during the Perseid shower and spent a couple of hours in my sister's back garden on loungers with blankets and cocoa. It was nothing short of spectacular with 2-3 meteors per minute at times and most were really bright leaving long trails behind. They were all over the night sky from horizon to horizon. I'd never seen anything like it and I haven't since.

Edited by BazMark
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Me and my freind were treated to a amazing display of perseids last night/this morning.

The weather was not looking good at all, then it started to break up a bit so i thought we might be lucky, as the weather seems to be following a pattern at the moment where it is cloudy with sunny spells during the day but then clearing up during the night, so i thought thats what would happen, but then as it was nearing the time we were going to set of to our chosen site it started to cloud over again and started to rain, so i started to feel quite miserable! but we took a gamble and went anyway, and it paid off!

when we got to our site the rain stopped and the clouds cleared leaving the sky crystal clear, and i mean that, it was just stunning, the milky way streching right overhead it was quite breath taking!

We had a few other people turning up to see them as well, just people who had read about it in a newspaper or heared it on the radio or tv or something, we were able to educate them a bit and they saw a few perseids which they were happy with then they left, but we were in it for the long haul!

our first timed watch from 00:23 to 01:23 BST we saw 45 including 2 fireballs, I missed the first one but the second was a beauty, at 01:16, it left a persistent trail lasting 10-15 seconds.

the second watch was even better! from 02:31-03:31BST we clocked up a pretty decent 71! not bad at all for a 2 person team! we would have missed some of course so i recon the ZHR was 100+, interested to see how many were seen at the Salisbury star party.

We also saw a few sporadics, one was quite nice! plus a few sattelites, some were tumbling and at first we thought it was a point flash of a head on meteor. Also saw something quite strange, 2 sattelites seemingly in formation with each other but then one of them seemed to alter its course, i hope others saw that as well!, we saw quite a few persids during untimed sessions like when we were chatting with those people who turned up, and whilst we were cooking our food! by far the best Perseids i have ever seen!

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A satellite went over fairly slowly but it FLASHED a very bright light with a regular period of 13 seconds (by manual count) heading from SSW to NNE taking about 3 minutes to pass from overhead to about 30 degrees above the horizon - any thoughts? 'Twas NOT a plane!

I saw something very similar, maybe the same one, from my garden in hertfordshire - I dont remember the exact time, it would have been some time between 10:45 and 11:45.

I ran in to get my bins to see what it was - through bins it was a slightly bigger flashing light!!

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After a very long day with a trip to Cornwall for a funeral. Got back around 9pm.. total cloud, waited to 11.30pm with no change at all.. cloud and light drizzle.

Not too worried though as saw some on Saturday gone, plus a real gem the night before.

Well done those that managed it

Rob

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It's so nice to read that we've all had much the same experience this show. (Apart from those that got clouded out :p) This was my first shower, I stayed up for Geminids last year but was defeated by the clouds. It reassuring to hear that I what I saw was pretty typical.

Rik

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saw about 30 or so at salisbury sp last night between 2200 and 0130... tried some widefield imaging but didnt catch a single one... i did notice they were appearing everywhere but the direction the camera was pointing ;-( always next year i suppose

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I saw something very similar, maybe the same one, from my garden in hertfordshire - I dont remember the exact time, it would have been some time between 10:45 and 11:45.

I ran in to get my bins to see what it was - through bins it was a slightly bigger flashing light!!

I seen this a few times. I'm sure I read somewhere, maybe on here, that it's an old russian rocket.

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Well done all, sounds like it was a great shower for you guys up north. :p I had a bit of a look, and saw 3 Perseids only in a 50 min period, though one of htose was abeauty - slow and bright, and leaving a great train.

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Took the kids out onto the local moss on Saturday night,they were desperate to see some . We spotted 3 near Cassiopeia .Whilst we were looking we had a visit from the local constabulary as we must have looked a bit suspicious,anyway after a quick explanation of our activities they were satisfied and went on their way.

When we got home the girls were cleaning their teeth and I saw a corker about 11;30 near Cassiopeia again,from our front garden ,the kids were miffed to have missed it ,but at least they saw some this year.:)

Edited by Jake Bullit
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