Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Perseids

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Last week was the annual Perseid Meteor Shower. The shower peaked Thursday night, but Sarah and I went out both Wednesday and Thursday nights to see what we could see. We drove outside of town a good 20 minutes or so, into a very dark state forest and laid on the ground, on the dam of our favorite lake, looking up at the night sky.

Wednesday, we saw about 15-20 meteors, include 3-4 really long/bright ones. I tried to take some photos, and while I did get some good shots of the stars, the meteors proved difficult to photograph.

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In this crop, you can see a meteor. I had to increase the brightness a lot to be able to see it, but it’s there.

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The next shot appears to have a meteor, but it’s actually an airplane.

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Thursday night, my mom and nephew joined us. I was worried that my nephew, who is 12 1/2, would get bored — even at the peak of the shower, in a very dark location, it can be 10 minutes or more between meteors. It takes a lot of patience. But he was fascinated! And, he was great at spotting meteors. He counted 22 meteors … and he noted that number 5 was the best.

Even if there hadn’t been a meteor shower at all, it would have been a great experience. It’s shocking how many more stars you can see, just by going a ways out of town. We all also enjoyed the sounds of various insects, and the¬†occasional¬†“ploop” sound of a frog jumping in the water, or a fish coming to the surface.

Watching the meteor shower certainly gave me a renewed sense of appreciation for astronomy, and I’m glad my nephew was fascinated as well. My great-great uncle discovered Morehouse Comet, so I guess it’s in our blood!

2 Responses to “Perseids”

  1. John Says:

    We missed the showers here because of the overcast. I was looking forward to them too.

  2. Steve A Says:

    I went out early on Friday morning, but saw nary a one, though our sky was clear. I was out about 5:40AM and combined it with my commute.

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