Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Aurigids Meteor Shower



This Saturday morning at 5:00am MDT. the rare Aurigids meteor shower will begin.

There are predictions of up to 200 meteors per hour, but the most intense part of the shower will last only 20-30 mins starting around 5:30am MDT. as Earth passes through the narrow dust stream left behind by comet Kiess around 83 BC, Roman Empire times.

The picture above shows where the meteor shower will be visible from, because comet Kiess only left a narrow dust stream only Western North America and Hawaii will be able to view this rare event. The radiant point (the point where the meteors seem to start from) is in the constellation Auriga. Auriga will be high in the NE part of the sky at that time. There are only 3 people alive today that have viewed the Aurigids and no one has taken any pictures. The next scheduled Aurigid meteor shower won't be for another 50 years. I will be out trying to get some pics with my trusty digital camera snapping away like Anna did to get her great shots of the Perseids, unfortunately Anna will on the sideline for this one since she lives too far east, I've been running her ragged lately asking her to take pictures of all these events, she'll be relieved to know she can sleep in on this one. I have found you a great multimedia presentation on comets, it's great, a bunch of little vignettes not more then a few minutes long for each one, it's great if you're like me and have the attention span of a newt, there's nothing more scary then clicking on someones multimedia thingy and find out its 49 hours long and you don't want to be rude and just leave, I get up do my laundry make supper check back every once in a while and then eventually leave. Another cool thing, I got this great 14 second YouTube video of the Perseid meteor shower, that's right only 14 seconds, it leaves you wanting more, so I kept on clicking on the play button until I'd had enough.



Both Mars rovers are back and hard at work again since the Martian dust storms have started to die down. Opportunity will be going down into Victoria crater,(pic below) which has exposed bedrock, a geologists dream. Spirit will be overtaking the Viking 2 lander for the title of the 2nd longest lasting spacecraft on the surface of Mars: 1290 sols (martian days). Viking 1 holds the record with 6 years 3 months and 22 days!, don't think that's gonna be beat anytime soon.



40 comments:

zunnur said...

Hi Bob,
Amazing! Earth is going to pass through the dust stream left behind by comet Kiess around 83 BC!

Need to ask you something, will this comet pass through this same place again someday? and does it travel in its own permanent orbit?
Sorry if the questions sound silly, this is the place I learn a bit about astronomy :-)

Space is full of history and mystery.

Bob Johnson said...

Excellent questions Zunnur, both the meteoroids and the Earth are orbiting around the Earth in their own permanent orbits at different speeds, it just so happens that every 50 years or so these meteoroids meet up and collide with the Earth, I think its amazing that these meteoroids are floating around up there since 83 BC.

mrsnesbitt said...

Wow! Awesome photographs!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks mrsnesbitt.

Anna said...

Hi Bob, now it all makes sense and I know why I cannot see it. Nice that I can sleep today, but now that I think of it, I probably would like to do news coverage of this too. Thanks for the links, it was nice of you. I will be waiting for the results, in the mean time I got to go and work on my next two awards. Anna :)
BTW You are getting popular around my family and co-workers. The latest comment I got, 'hey that Bob guy got some big telescope'. That means that people actually do read and not just look at the photos, and they do click on the links. Good night and good luck with the meteor shower project. I am not hearing any weather panic from you - so must be good.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Anna, I'm gonna do a broadcast to remind people about the shower, right now it's partly cloudy here, supposed to stay the same, so who knows maybe I'll get lucky again

Two Feathers said...

This is so cool! And I'm going to miss it! That SO sucks!

Thanks zunnur for the questions because I wouldn't have thought to ask them, and now I know way more than I did before!

Scruffyhippo said...

We very rarely gets things like this in the UK.
I have seen a few shooting stars but thats about it.
Bob your blog has inspired me and I am looking for a telescope this week'end but I know very little, I live out in the sticks so the light levels are good for sky watching, any sugestion are welcome, oh and one more thing is a reflector telescope better?

Bob Johnson said...

Shirley, too bad your going to miss them, but I'm glad you know know more about comets and meteoriods

Peter, thats great , any questions about scopes, I did a post on how to buy a telescope a while back. My recommendation was to buy a reflector because you get more bang for the buck, I suggested a Celestron Starhopper 6" or 8" dobsonian reflector

Two Feathers said...

Well? did you get pictures? It was the first thing I thought about when I got up today... did Bob get pictures?

Bob Johnson said...

No :(( it was raining, thanks for asking, at least I got my Lunar Eclipse.

Danny said...

I didn't know about this. Being in Minnesota I wasn't able to see it. Shucks about the rain there. I was looking forward to you being "my eye at the sky" ...You're becoming my space resource! :-)

Bob Johnson said...

Too bad for both of us Danny.

Bill said...

I did not even know there was a meteor shower Sat. I wouldn't have been able too see it anyway though. I live in Florida. It's cool that you mentioned the Mars Rovers. I was going to write a post about that but looks like you beat me to it. :-) It's amazing they've lasted this long. They say the next rovers will be better, more powerful and last even longer.

Bob Johnson said...

Yes Bill they get better all the time, Im getting excited about the Mars Phoenix Lander landing on the northern region of Mars and having its own lab to do its thing, expect ground breaking science for this lander!

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