Monday, August 16, 2010

Meteor reports

Hi Y'all,
Hope you all had as good a show as we did at Mizpe Mesua. I heard from several folks who were disappointed in the number  meteors or the weather, but that is how it goes. When I left home, it was partly cloudy in Efrat and as I drove toward Bet Shemesh the sky got totally covered. However when I got to Emek Ha'ela the clouds miraculously cleared. Up at Mizpe Mesua there was still a lot of humidity and haze, but very acceptable. Daniel Babylonian Jackson was there with Susan and with his 3 scopes including his Behemoth 14 inch. There were about 40 people from the Jerusalem Mosaic club, and all kinds of other small groups and families who showed up too. I was busy pointing out stars and planets in my telescope so I did not catch all the meteors, but the group saw between 3-40 meteors from 10pm to 2am. Not bad!  Surprisingly most of the ones we saw were bright fireballs. The Mosaic folks left at 2am and then I helped the Babylonian pack up his gear. It really seemed like the meteors stopped after that. I wonder if we were just missing all the faint ones which peaked after 2am due to the haze and thin clouds that started rolling in and luckily just saw the earlier  fireballs

Here are some links.

So what did you see? Add your comments below.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Perseid meteor shower Thursday night

The Perseids are coming, get set for a great show. Perseid montage

Tomorrow night the annual Perseids meteor shower will peak. This happens every year when the Earth travels through a cloud of dusty debris left behind by the comet Swift-Tuttle.

There are several public happenings around the country this year.

Tel Aviv Astro club is sponsoring free event in Mizpe Ramon:

Bareket observatory will also be in Miztpe Ramon

The Israel Atro Association will be at part Tima,  Eilat

I will be leading a group from Jerusalem at Mitzpe Mesua. But even if you don't join any of these groups, just find any dark spot, get cozy on a beach chair or blanket, and look up. Meteors usually peak closer to dawn but things should heat up as midnight approaches.

Read more about the shower and meteor observing at Sky & Telescope

To prepare you can go to and download a nice printable skychart and calendar of events for August. Be sure to select the "Northern Hemisphere Edition"

Monday, August 9, 2010

Get ready for the Perseids!

Hi Y'all,

Just a quick note to be ready for the best meteor shower of the year this Thu night. There are events happening all over the country, I don't have time to write all about it now, but maybe you guys can post the links you know about and I will add my notes later.

There will be no Moon to interfere this year as the the 1st visibility of the new Moon will not be till Wed night.

Hopefully, you have been keeping track of the dance of the planets in the west. They should all pair up nicely with the moon on Wed & Thu. By the time the meteors start falling, those planets will have set, but after 10pm, Jupiter will be making his appearance to keep us company the rest of the night.

I was scouting out sites last night for the show and saw a nice fireball around midnight. However it was going the wrong way for a Perseid, so I was just lucky.

Some links to info and activities:

Bareket in Miztpe Ramon

IAA at part Tima,  Eilat