Meteors.

The International Space Station is back over the UK this month, and I popped outside last night to take a few snaps of the pass as 23:02.

My neighbours were out in their garden at the time, and I heard them wondering what it was when they spotted it coming over, so I surprised them with my slightly geeky level of knowledge about the ISS.

I also let them know about the annual Perseid Meteor Shower, which is treating the northern hemisphere to an amazing firework display over the next few days, peaking on Monday 12th August.

I plan to take a drive out into the middle of the Lincolnshire Wolds, which should give me a nice dark sky, and watch a couple of ISS passes and around 100 meteors per hour. It should be a pretty spectacular evening’s star-gazing!

Get yourself outside on a clear night this week and look up – you’ll be amazed! It’s incredible to look up at the ISS in the knowledge that it’s moving at around 17,000 miles per hour 200 miles above the earth, and spotting so many meteors is pretty damn exciting!

Amazing fact of the day:

The meteors entering the atmosphere during the Perseid Meteor Shower are tiny- about the size of a grain of sand! That’s pretty incredible when you see how much light they produce and the speed they’re going as they burn up.

Here’s a link to a website listing all the ISS passes this month, as well as the dates you can see the Perseid meteors

http://www.meteorwatch.org/uk-iss-passes-august-2013.html#more-5321

And here’s a nice article about the Perseids, by a guy I follow on Twitter. He posts some really interesting things, and provides reminders to help make sure you don’t miss the ISS passing overhead! Check him out @VirtualAstro

http://www.sen.com/feature/perseids-meteor-shower.html

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2 thoughts on “Meteors.

  1. Questions:
    Why do these showers occur regularly? Is it something to do with their orbit coinciding with Earth’s annually. Do the Perseids therefore orbit the Sun on a year cycle – shurely not? Are they in the same plane as Earth and other planets? Please reply with 3D diagrams. And if they keep getting burnt up each year, why don’t they gradually decrease in number (or do they)? And why are they ‘Perseid’? Do they come from the constellation of Perseus? And finally, are the tracks of all these meteors the same, and if so what direction?

  2. Answer:
    I will reply to this comment by means of a new Boulder Epiphany.

    Errata:
    For boulder read blog.
    For epiphany read entry.

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