Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Lyrid Meteor Shower




Just a few hours before I took the above pic it was snowing so much that you couldn't see a few feet in front of you, but the Clear Sky Clock for my area said clear skies between 1:00 and 4:00 am, it has never let me down before so I got everything ready, camera, tripod, winter coat, gloves, toque just in case there was a break in the weather.




Got a little sleep woke up around 1:00 am thinking no way it's going to be clear and I can get back to some nice cozy sleep in my warm bed, there will be other showers, May 5th to be exact, the Eta Aquarids which I will talk about later. Anyways go through the motions, go to the window and, oh crap....I mean...oh goodie, clear skies, the little voice in my head was saying, "go back to bed, this isn't the shower you're looking for", but I thought no way, I'm not listening to that stupid voice, I'm going out, not going to let the voice be the boss of me.




Once out and set up it was great, it was quite, lots of fresh air and the Cosmos laid out before me. Now the thing with the Lyrids, they tend to be fast and short, reason being they hit the Earth's atmosphere head on and burn out quickly, I managed to capture a long one, right through Hercules keystone, the above image and in the image below I captured a couple meteors in the same pic last Thursday night, (since the shower runs from April 16-25), very cool.

I don't know if you were able to get out and catch the shower, if you didn't, not to worry, mark your calenders, the next meteor shower is just around the corner, May 5th.


The Eta Aquarids, and it's a moonless night, so they will be nice and bright, the best kind, there is a slight problem though, this shower's radiant, the constellation Aquarius only rises about an hour before morning twilight begins, around 4 am, but it should be a good show up to 30 an hour.


The Aquarids shower is the result of flakes of dust and debris left behind by Halley's comet burning up in the Earth's atmosphere which by the way last visited us back in 1986. I will definitely be out, should be warmer and no full Moon, I'm there. Look to the East-South East just above the horizon 4:00 am May 5th.



I'll leave you with yet another Moon with earthshine animated gif taken during it's last crescent phase.

44 comments:

Franx said...

Fantastic picture and information.How come that you do the great picture Bob?

Susanne49 said...

I thought,meteor showers happen only in summer time, August or so...?

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Franx, thanks a lot, glad you like the pics.:D :-D \m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Susanne, there are meteor showers all during the year, love the ones in the summertime the best, less frosbite, lol. :stars:

Drowsey Monkey said...

OMG - I saw on the news that you guys are getting snow! (I'm not laughing, why would you think that). Fantastic photos!

Gotta go ... adjust the AC.

Kristyn said...

Your pictures are always so good!! I love the animated .gif's! They're really mesmerizing to look at.

Tatiana said...

Hi Bob, another splendid series of captures and thanks lots for sharing my friend :)
Can you tell me if the next one on the 6th of May will be visible here in Europe too? If so - I will definitely try to take a few captures, even though not sure about the camera settings in Manual. Can you help? Thanks a lot and am looking forward your posts as always :) Have a great week ahead and hoping Spring will be there for you soon!
Tatiana

Oswegan said...

You are a major trooper, and it looks like it paid off!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Drowsey, sucks to be me, the weather is nuts here, it will be sunny one minute and then snowing like nuts the next. \m/\m/
:-( :(

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Kristyn, glad you like the gifs, soo happy I found out about them.:D :-D \m/

kml said...

Glad you didn't listen to that little voice - you got some great shots! Hope the snow goes as quickly as the clouds cleared!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Tatiana

Yes you will be able to see the shower, at 4:00am south east area where Aquarius rises.

I set the camera at 20 seconds exposure, ISO 1000, F stop 4.5, use a tripod very important, and if you can , get a remote switch, prevent jiggles in the image caused by pushing the shutter button.

Just point the camera in the SE just above the horizon and keep taking images should give you an hour of image taking before it gets too light, you may have to adjust the settings depending on how light it is outside.

Need anymore help feel free to email me.

Bob Johnson said...

Hey oswegan, thanks a lot!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Kathy, unfortunately we are looking at more snow.:-( :(

Roger said...

Damn fine job Bob, get some rest pal!

Ruth said...

You are a driven man, Bob. Reading how this all came about is the best, I smiled all the way. And LOL @ Drowsey.

Oh dear, more snow. I hope it's getting nice during the day at least. I was in the Upper Peninsula one summer and it snowed in June, so I guess it isn't all that unusual.

Sorry.

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, thanks Roger, I just never seem to catch up.:yawn: \m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Ruth, it snows in May here, we have 8 months of winter, Oct- Apr and then a little of May.:-( :(
\m/\m/

Swubird said...

Bob:

Great shot of the Lyrid meteors. With my extra large screen they look spectacular - fill the whole screen. I can't say I'm all that big on your weather, though. But I'm certainly glad you are. Otherwise, you wouldn't take these great photos of the heavens.

HAppy stargazing.

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

AMAZING shots, Bob. We had cloud cover so I couldn't see the Lyrids but I have seen them in the past.

ROFL and making yourself head into the bad weather for the shots. I have to check out that Clear Sky Clock. If I knew there was snow outside in April, I would have pulled the blanket over my head and stuck my cold feet on hubby's back. Well, he doesn't go for that.:D You're so courageous and dedicated. :D

Great post!!!


Hugs, JJ

aura said...

As always...good work bob!
I never get the chance to see one of these anymore. Thoughts of our son pouncing on my bed at the hour when the rooster cock-a-doodle-dooos makes me go down early each night.

:casper:

Will said...

I can't believe you go to sleep and then get up in the middle of the night. Talk about addic.... I mean dedication! I would think the cold air and stuff would get you so awake you would then be up fro the rest of the night?

May 6th eh? 4am? I look forward to your report! LOL!

By the way, as to your comment on my post about Obama. You should see JD's response which is now up as a guest post. Very well written, but very scary! Probably even concerning for our neighbors to the north.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks swubird, it will be nice when I can get a break with the crazy snow/no snow weather

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks JJ, can't let the weather take control, would only leave me 4 months to work with,lol \m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Aura, too bad this space stuff is usually in the middle of the night when it is dark and cold,lol \m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, you crack me up, I'll make sure to get back with a good report, I will take a look at the reply, was just watching CNN about the election process, man you guys go through so much, in fact do you ever stop? lol \m/\m/

1st Lady said...

Too cloudy for me. Fingers crossed for May 6th then! I often have to let the old dogs out at undogly hours so a bit used to 1am wake ups! You are so dedicated :)

Don said...

What a patient man you are! Thanks for sharing your great photography. I am looking forwarad to May 6. I'm going to go out and find a seat.

Bob Johnson said...

Hey 1st lady,lol undogly hours they certainly are, good luck with the weather for May 6th! \m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Don, way to go that's the spirit,good luck with the weather. Forecast says party cloudy and 10c here, walk in the park.

Livingsword said...

Hey Bob;

Now I’m not so far behind with this one!!! LOL

1 am….Bob you are crazy….seriously you may start sprouting bat wings, and then Ironman will eat you, sure laugh until they cook you and eat you….its not funny Bob, being crazy is very serious….I mean it stop laughing…or people will think you are crazy…you would then have to call yourself Crazy Bob, and that Blogger nickname may already be gone and then what a dilemma…

:]

Loving it Bob…..

“Best space blog on or off the planet…..”

Cool tag line eh?

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks livingsword,lol love the tag, I've been up many times at all hours of the night, nature of the hobby, funny thing is I'm really a morning person, so sometimes I don't get any sleep, Which is crazy talk, leads to a crazy bob,lol \m/\m/

Moonshadow said...

I keep telling the grandkids that we need to have a meteor shower party in the summer when the pool's set up. I think floating in the pool on a warm summer night would be the perfect place to watch from. I keep forgetting when the showers come around, though. Years ago I saw some space junk re-enter the atmosphere. It glowed bright for what seemed like forever. At first I thought it was a plane burning and crashing at ICT since that's where it looked like it was over. It was beautiful. Hey! head over to my poetry blog and check out a couple of my flower picts.
http://ksbornpoetry.blogspot.com/

Julie at Virtual Voyage said...

Bob, just to let you know I'm in the process of changing over to Wordpress - links on virtualvoyages.blogspot.com

Have enjoyed being on blogger, but WP has a number of attractive features which make life easier for me - not least posting in categories. Look forward to seeing you if you call in,
& I'll put a link on my sidebar so if you get any visiting wordpress aliens you'll know who to thank...!

Max said...

Hey Bob,

This is amazing!! I must thank you for being so brave and (I never thought I'd be saying this one day) for not having paid attention to your inner voice *bowing*!
I don't know if I have told you or not (I think I have told Anna) but I don't even try to look for showers anymore: in 1990, the press infoed us that there would be a shower like never before and that people should get ready cause it would be the show of a lifetime...we set up sleeping bags, cameras (my dad), organised a BBQ, drinks, invited friends...the whole lot (we were kids then, my brother and I; so my parents thought that organising a small party to celebrate this cosmic phenomenon was in order)...we saw a shooting star or two, my mom went home to sleep, leaving me, brother, dad and friends up until 6:00 in the morning (when the sun was up) for nothing *nodding*...so disappointing! So I quit ever since...I do not look for showers anymore lol....

Now that I have shared this story with you I may say that after May 6th I'll be here to give you my support and actually see some good images of the showers :D!

By the way, my mom loved seeing the earthrise and earthset: it's incredible!

I saw Halley's comet in 1986: it was an amazing experience!!! Again, my family prepared a festive occasion for it and it was worth it!! :D

Bob, I wish you and your family a blessed weekend :D!

Cheers

Bob Johnson said...

Hey moonshadow, I concur a pool party would be a great way to watch the shower, space junk, wow where's the camera when you need it,lol. I will definintely check out your blog later, thanks for dropping by!\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Julie thanks for putting me on your sidebar, will change the link on mine to your new site as well. I had the option of going with wordpress when I did my redo, should have, I hear there is a lot you can do with it.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Max, too bad about your experience with that shower, they are funny, sometimes they are great other times no so great. I'll try to get some good shots for you next time out.

I like them no matter what, I always look at other deep sky objects while i'm out, always something to look at besides meteors, hopefully there'll be lots May 6th, weather permitting of course

Julie - virtualvoyage1.wordpress.com said...

Bob - took some messing about to sort the links out earlier - the one above is the direct one.

I'm impressed with WP - it has some intelligent features.

However, if you do move and import from Blogger, read the small print. I shifted 250 posts and lost 90 percent of the photos. Had stuff archived, so it wasn't a big deal, but worth knowing in advanced.

A trial blog's a good idea.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks for the heads up about wordpress and images, I added your new site to my blogroll.

The Supplicant said...

Great article Bob and like I've said so many times before...great shots as well. I see the weather finally sucks there and not here. About time, don't you think? LOL (Hey I'm not afraid to laugh)
Take care my friend.
~JD

Bob Johnson said...

JD, you can laugh,lol, thanks, its supposed to get better and up to
17c, crazy temp and weather swings.\m/\m/\m/.

Lynda Lehmann said...

I'm glad you got out of bed for that, Bob! That's what makes your blog shine: your passion and dedication.

And the GIF is gorgeous, as usual!

Sorry I'm late in coming around. Seems I'm always snowed with stuff to do--I can't keep up! :)

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Lynda,lol, I know what you mean about the snowed in part, with me it's usually real snow, so lucky to have had a few breaks, usually in the early morning hours.\m/