View Full Version : Meteor shower

Self Loading Freight
8th Oct 2011, 22:51
Has anyone in seats zero left or zero right had a good view of tonight's meteor shower? The Draconids (for it is they) are the tail of Comet Giacobini–Zinner and should peak around about now, although outliers may carry on into tomorrow.

Supposed to be a really good set, too, although London is socked in with beaucoup thin cloud backlit by the Moon and I've seen nothing.


tony draper
8th Oct 2011, 22:59
Been stood outside freezing me nads off watching for various meteor showers for forty years, not seen one yet,gave up on meteor showers about twenty years ago.:(
Seen plenty of sporadics though:)

Mike X
8th Oct 2011, 23:12
I had a bath.

8th Oct 2011, 23:14
One did catch the leonids a couple of years back. It amounted to a meteor every couple of minutes and an enduring notion from the neighbours that one is a peeping tom, based on being stood out in the garden looking up at their bathroom in the freezing coild for hours at a time.:suspect:

8th Oct 2011, 23:24
One did catch the leonids a couple of years back.
It can be cleared up with Penicillin. :E

DX Wombat
8th Oct 2011, 23:32
Streptomycin works better. ;)

8th Oct 2011, 23:40
I'll take your word.:suspect:

8th Oct 2011, 23:58
I witnessed one whilst driving my scooter in NW London in early 1969, Had to stop because it was so incredible. On the tele later it was.

I don't often admit to having a scooter (LI 150). I grew up a bit later, got rid of the parker and got into motorbikes - unfortunately they were British so I spent most of the time pushing them home (C11G anybody?) I actually beat that one to death with a borrowed hammer in the end. (Probly worth a fortune now, but believe me the frenzied attack was soul saving at the time)

I know you all love a good thread creep.


Arm out the window
9th Oct 2011, 01:59
Here's a bit more thread creep, then - you didn't go blind and find giant mobile stinging plants running around the place killing people, did you?

I've read that can happen after a particularly bright meteor shower.

9th Oct 2011, 04:54
Terriffid post AOTW :ok:

Self Loading Freight
9th Oct 2011, 10:08
oh well!

Seen a few over the years, with and without the five-hour-nadger-numbing wait in the cold, but only two that really stand out (which is hard if it's that nippy).

The first was by accident. Young SLF was, for reasons hard to credit at this remove, in the army bit of the CCF at school, and this meant an annual invite to Exercise Nokip on Dartmoor. Usual how not to be seen stuff, creeping around the bracken, running a bit, yelling occasionally and carrying Dairy Milk wrapped in a snotrag. Bloke in charge was an amiable pipe-smoking classics teacher, who had been a major back when, and who was prepared to pretend to be one again in the service of making a rag-bag of schoolkids pretend to be soldiers. His nickname was Peaceful, which gives you some idea of the aggressive leadership on offer, but that was far preferable to some of the gung-ho on offer from others of his clan.

We were all gathered around midnight for a briefing on how to sneak up on the henemy. It was indeed bracing, but there were no clouds, no city lights, and no moon - and at the centre of Dartmoor in the early 80s, that meant very good seeing, especially with young eyes. Peaceful was about halfway through reminding us not to engage in four-part harmony, let off flares or shout "HERE WE ARE!" while tip-toeing around Tor Blimey, when someone said excitedly "Did you see THAT? Shooting star!"

We all looked up, and there was another. And another. A slight pause, and then two at once.

That was it. For the next hour, any pretending was forgotten. Had Ivan had chosen that moment to invade, etc. Peaceful was as captivated as his charges, and convened an open-air symposium on the mythology behind the constellations to fill in the time (which was never more than a few seconds) between meteors. The henemy, which was another group of us half-way up the hill awaiting our arrival, got to wait an extra hour in the freezing sheep poo, but were under the watchful of a "When we went ashore at Normandy" geography teacher who was going to keep good discipline no matter what.

Moral victory!

The second time was about five years ago, watching from the south-facing balcony of my north London flat. There weren't many, and after a couple of hours I was about to succumb to the sofa when one huge fireball descended magnificently as if it were about to smash into Peckham and wipe out the dinosaurs. Three seconds of total awesome. Peckham survived, of course, but you can't have everything.


9th Oct 2011, 10:36
Just seen a meteor shower

It was in Wickes Bathroom department.

9 KW. Much meatier than ours at home, which is only 7.5 KW.

Sorry, it's the best pun I could manage as I've used up all the fish ones on another thread.

9th Oct 2011, 10:48
The Leonids put on a roaring good show.

The Draconids flame out against the moon.

tony draper
9th Oct 2011, 10:53
The trouble is our towns and cities are so light polluted now that a meteor that would light up the sky out in the darkness of the middle of the ocean or desert is but a faint streak in the night sky now.

10th Oct 2011, 10:09
Funny you should ask, SLF. Had a little party Saturday and for some reason, everyone suddenly decided they wanted to see the meteors. So we all file out and stand in the cold, the occasional oohs and aahs but nothing spectacular, all back in, who wants a hot drink? :ok:
Best part was the kids were all still up, they loved it.

TD: You're right, it takes a helluva streak these days to be impressive. Competition from street lamps spoils the performance a bit. Quadrantids on the beach last winter was better, but whoa, was it cold!

10th Oct 2011, 10:26
It didn't help that the general press got hold of the fact that at least one UK Astronomical Association were appealing to their members for observations because potentially this year's Draconids could have been a biggy. The regular observers took the predictions with a pinch of salt but trooped outside and do their bit anyway. Problem was the talk of spectacular displays... and then there's the light pollution...........

FWIW saw b**** all here, cloudy as heck....anyhow as "visibility3miles" has said, give me a good Leonid anyday :uhoh:

10th Oct 2011, 10:30
Went out after midnight to see the Quadrantids last time round. Stood there for half an hour-nowt. Just made the decision to turn in and this whopper screamed across the sky. Never seen anything like it. Stood out in the cold for another hour and saw nowt-again. Worth it though.

Windy Militant
10th Oct 2011, 10:45
I don't often admit to having a scooter (LI 150). I grew up a bit later, got rid of the parker and got into motorbikes - unfortunately they were British so I spent most of the time pushing them home (C11G anybody?) I actually beat that one to death with a borrowed hammer in the end. (Probly worth a fortune now, but believe me the frenzied attack was soul saving at the time)

I think my mate bought it! Spent many a happy hour waiting for him to bump start it while the rest of us on our trashy Japanese bikes sat there sniggering.
Back to the thread my brothers mate had a Royal Enfield Meteor, probably called that as it shed bits at a rate of knots then blew up.

Haven't seen the Draconids but did see a day light meteor !

10th Oct 2011, 11:42
Worked on Meatboxes for a short time at RAF Manby. 1964 - 1965.
Bl**dy heaps.
Was glad to get transferred to the Canberras. Much better.

tony draper
10th Oct 2011, 11:47
Could have been worse,could have hit us.:uhoh:

10th Oct 2011, 11:56
Saw some great astronomy sights as a very frequent AirUK flyer, as several of the flight crew knew me as a worker in astronomy and would invite me on to the flight deck, either to see something of interest or to identify something they didn't recognise.

These days are past now, and in the past they must remain . . . .

Ancient Observer
10th Oct 2011, 12:29
Astronomy?? is that where Prospect got all their ideas from? I always wondered.....

10th Oct 2011, 13:18
Know what you mean Magnus. :(

10th Oct 2011, 13:58
I suspect AO has me identified from my Prospect days . . .

Added: Prospect is a trade union for specialists - the ATCOs here will know it well

uffington sb
10th Oct 2011, 15:04
Blimey Mr D, if that's what it did to Sol, we would have been toasted!

tony draper
10th Oct 2011, 18:15
I would not worry,said comets just deliver a bit more hydrogen is all, keep the sun shining for a bit longer,it will run out of the stuff eventually, and on that day it really really will be a bad day.

10th Oct 2011, 19:52
4.5 billion year-old meteorite crashes into Paris family home - Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/8818456/4.5-billion-year-old-meteorite-crashes-into-Paris-family-home.html)

Check out the family name! :eek: