Saturday, August 11, 2007

Perseid Meteor Shower

Before I forget, do yourself a favor and go out to a dark site tomorrow night (read: Sunday/Monday) and take a look at the Perseid meteor shower. It's going to be a great show this year thanks to the new moon, with rates around 60 meteors per hour. It's best just before dawn (though you should see some meteors starting around 11pm or so), and you need to look towards Perseus in the east. Check out the post on Bad Astronomy for more information.

By the way, if it's cloudy one of my favorite radio-geek things to do during meteor showers is to hear them! There's a live feed you can listen to here, based in Roswell, New Mexico. You can also rely on a propagation technique known as 'meteor scatter,' which occurs when a meteor burns up in the upper atmosphere and leaves a trail of particles which reflect signals from Earth for a few seconds. You can hear it just by tuning your FM radio to a static-y point on the dial, and you should hear a faraway station suddenly come in for a few seconds every few minutes. It really is kind of neat to check out if you never have before.