Monday, November 17, 2008

A Swarming Taurid Meteor And Buying A Telescope



WOO HOO, got me A Swarming Taurid Meteor, a big one that lit up the sky!!!!! made the front page of NASA's Spaceweather.com for a couple of days, that makes 3 of my images that have made it to their front page.... hey..... but who's counting?......... oh wait, I am.

You can see it now in their gallery here or at Sky and Telescope's gallery here. I had mentioned about the Taurid meteor shower in an earlier post, it's all but done now but it was the best shower I've seen in awhile.

Happening right now is the Leonids Meteor Shower. Debris left behind from comet Tempel/ Tuttle will be smashing into our protective atmosphere at 45 miles a second creating bright meteors. Look to the NE around midnight as the constellation Leo rises, the radiant of the shower. I'll be out to get some pics, it was suppose to peak around 4 am Monday or Tuesday this week, I was out at 4 am this morning and let me tell you it wasn't the peak, Ill be out Tuesday morning, weather permitting to get some pics and post later this week.

The peak all depends when the Earth passes through the most populated part of the debris field, which is hard to pin down exactly. The bright 75% of Full Moon is out as well, so it will wash out all but the brightest meteors but you should still see a few good ones, oh and dress warm, it's cold out there, at least in Saskatoon.


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and with that in mind I thought I would link to my post on what to look for when buying a telescope, just in case anyone out there is wanting to buy one for themselves or a loved one for that special day. It's actually quite a good article if I do say so myself, having gone through more then 10 scopes in the last few years, I kind of consider myself an almost expert, by the way I am in the process of selling one right now, a pretty big one, so if your interested let me know, they go like crazy around Christmas time, just so you know.

Very important, a beautiful Celestial gathering is taking place November 30 and December 1.

Look to the Southwest an hour after Sunset for a beautiful crescent Moon complete with Earthshine below Jupiter and Venus on November 30, and then on December 1 look at the same place, same time for the grouping, this time the Moon will be closer and just over the planets creating a triangle with Venus and Jupiter, Venus will be just below and to the left of Jupiter, will be an excellent photo op or just plain awesome viewing.

I'll leave you now with an animation of my swarming Taurid meteor.

51 comments:

Lynda Lehmann said...

Bob, you are destined to be famous for your NASA photos and all the knowledge you have gained.

It's getting cold here too, on Long Island. But unlike you, I'll be nestled in a warm bed at 4:00 a.m.! Kudos to you for your determination to capture the skies!

Marvin the Martian said...

I like your dome!

I have a Meade with Autostar, and I like it, but I wish I could leave it outside rather than lugging it in and out. Will never happen though. Not going to get a dome, either. That just would be totally tacky, and it would clash with all our pink flamingo yard art. ;-)

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

If it were a year from now I would be interested in that telescope, Bob!!!

What a great post and photos. I have never been to spaceweather.com before and your image ROCKS!!!!

Thanks for the tips on the Leonids and the celestial gathering. WOOT!!! Now I'll pray the snow clouds take a hike.

Guess what! I received SHADOW OF THE MOON today!!! WOOT!!! THANK YOU, BOB!!! Jeff and I can't wait to watch it!!!!!!!

Hugs, Happy JJ

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Lynda, hey I'll autograph one of my images for you,lol.

I was taking pics from my warm car and every once in a while running out to clean my lens of dew, way too windy and cold at 4 in the morning.\m/\m/

Swubird said...

Bob:

Hey old buddy, a boatload of kudos for the publication of your meteor images. Well done.

On the subject of telescopes. A long time ago I read a book called The Light-Hearted Astronomer, by a guy named Ken Fulton. He's an amateur astronomer and I think his book is self-published. But that doesn't matter, because it's a fantastic little book for the would be telescope purchaser. It covers the basics of virtually every type of telescope you could possibly want. They're all in his book.

The Light-Hearted Astronomer contains about 113 pages, and Ken has a very light hearted and humorous style that's easy to read, even for the non-technical reader. I highly recommend it. The last I checked it was at Amazon for about 3 cents. If it's still in print, you can't beat the price. Check it out.

Kudos again Bob. You are really making a galactic name for yourself. I tell everyone I meet that I have an online friend who is the world's best amateur astronomer!

Happy stargazing.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks marvin, lol about dome/flamingo yard art combo.

The Dome is a life saver, it is very cool, as you know the set up and take down time can sometimes be more then the actual viewing time depending on the weather, so now I open the dome and I'm ready to go, when I'm finished, throw down a sleeping bag, close the dome, go to sleep.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks JJ, glad you got your DVD so fast, you guys will like it, and good luck with the weather, at least we have a couple nights of the gathering, so the chances of seeing it is better then if it was just one night.\m/\m/

CJ Harley said...

Congrats on getting your photo on NASA! And a big thanks for the heads up on Nov 30th. I'll definitely be out there looking for the trio.

Bob Johnson said...

Hey swubird, thanks a lot, I just looked up that book and it's still there, it looks pretty sweet, I'll get it, thanks for the idea.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks cj harley, good luck with the weather for the viewing, the December 1st one will be the closest grouping, but both nights will be exciting, just hope we have one clear night hear.\m/\m/

Genie said...

I don't even look up at the sky anymore unless I've read your blog first! I've had the pleasure of seeing about three Taurid meteors, which I wouldn't have known to look for without your blog. One was orange, yea! No smoke trail and it certainly didn't light up the sky like your magnificent shot, but it made me happy all the same. Congrats on getting your photos published on Spaceweather.com and Sky and Telescope. That must be immensely gratifying, you deserve it!

Your hard work is greatly appreciated.

Susanne49 said...

Congratulations to the photos featured by NASA and also for your new Christmas gift! :)

Thanks for sharing again this wonderful post and great photos.

mancai said...

:) i very like this site.. thanks

betchai said...

wow, congratulations. thanks for the nov 30 and dec 1st tips, i don't know if i can try but i'll keep it in mind. i'm interested but have not developed the patience yet :( thanks for sharing your wonderful taurid meteor picture, it deserves to be right there in the front page, congratulations again.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Genie, so happy for you getting to view the Taurids especially a colored one, looking for and finding meteors is cool,and like you said, makes you happy, very exciting, and once you get the bug you can pass it on to someone so they can enjoy.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Susanne, hey I wonder has your husband ever thought of painting a meteorite or space scene, with his talent and vivid colors he would do quite a job.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks mancai, and thanks for dropping by.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks so much betchai.\m/\m/

Priyank said...

You used 10? LOLI had 1 when I was a kid and now its dead. Sky gazing is impossible in big cities and I am not very patient :D

Thanks for the links Bob :)

Bob Johnson said...

Hi priyank,lol, your scope is dead? poor scope, I think I had the same scope when I was a kid and it died too,lol, Santa got it for me for a Christmas present.

I've been through at least 10 in the last few years, right now I use 4, a solar scope for the Sun, A refractor for the solar system items, a reflector for deep sky and a Schmidt Cassegrain for astrophotography,lol, to get to the final 4 I had to go through a lot of scopes.\m/\m/

Roger said...

Congrats on the Swarming Taurid Meteor shot! Wow! You deserve all the accolades for your patents to get these ineradicable shots!

Ruth said...

Brilliant Taurid meteor image, good on you.

Too bad you have to get out into the cold nights for your shots now. I love winter, but I remember how cold that moon eclipse was last year, brrrrrrr.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Roger, let me know when you get your DVD.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Ruth, for the next few months it's going to be tough going as far as the weather goes, as you would know, but it is worth it.\m/\m/

Genie said...

BOB!!!!!!! We got the dvd today, we can hardly wait to watch it. Hubby remembers being two years old and being glued to the television for the Apollo 11 mission. Having come along a little later, I missed all that excitement. When I was 10 Dad sent off to NASA for a space kit they had for kids--the kit never arrived. I was so bummed, I did get a poster of the shuttle though--showed cut-away views of the interior. I studied it endlessly as a young girl. The dvd will definitely take us both way back! THANK YOU!

Two Feathers said...

Congratulations on the NASA recognition of your photos.. Love that swarming taurid meteor - love the name of it too!! Makes me think of old movies about giant insects from outer space!!

Peter said...

Hi Bob and congratulations! Just remember us little guys when you become big and famous.

Now, have you heard about the 173 data tapes from the Apollo 11, 12 and 14 missions that have been sitting in Perth, Western Australia for almost 40 years.

NASA lost their copies and now they're going to retrieve the
information via a giant 1960s IBM729 Mark 5 tape drive at the Australian Computer Museum.

Could come in handy with those little guys breaking down up there on the moon.

Take Care,
Peter

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Genie, glad you got the DVD, you'll like it a lot. I remember watching the landing too but I was older then 2,lol, it was something I'll never forget.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Shirley,Lol I remember those old movies, you're right come to think of it it does remind me of Swarming giant bees or ants, something those old movies would have been about.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

No worries about the forgetting part Peter, mind you my memory is getting pretty bad the older I get,lol.

Thanks, I wasn't aware of the 173 data tapes, very cool, I'll have to check into it some more.\m/\m/

Sherer said...

Ah very cool meteor! I really enjoyed that article on telescopes too, I wasnt a reader at the time that one came out.

Wow ten scopes! Thats pretty good. I am only rollin one. However, I want to get a new one. I am think of about an 8-12 inch with a dobsonion (spelling?) mount. I cant bring myself to go computerized seems to easy. - plus i need to learn more - there is so much to see.

Thanks bob,

Jesse Sherer

Will said...

That's funny what someone said about not looking up at the sky until they have come here. I was just going to go for a walk on this very cold clear night and decided to stop here first to see if there was anything I should be looking for!

A big old "Swarming Tauid Meteor". Sounds great, but I still don't know how yo manage to get these things photographed. Amazing!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Jesse, I used to feel the same way about computerized, but after I got my Messier certificate I got one and now where I used to find and view maybe 30 targets a night I'm viewing almost a hundred.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, thanks WIll, getting these pictures is just about being at the right place at the right time, a lot of cold dark hours, but if you really want something,lol.\m/\m/

Digital Polaroids said...

WOW! The animation is amazing!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Digital Polaroids, glad you like it.

AngelBaby said...

Wow, the front page, you are amazing. Your photography is the best, it is no wonder you were on the front page. Next I will be hearing that you have taken a job there as a photographer. Then I can say I knew you when! LOL! I love your picture of the Meteor, just fabulous. Thank you for sharing this.

Love and Blessings,
AngelBaby

Mizé said...

Hi. I found your site trough Entrecard, or you found me, not sure.
Although I don´t know much about your topics, I love to see your pics and learn more. I´m fascinated with the sky, specially the moon and astrology, but never studied much this area.
Sorry if I don´t comment more, it´s just I don´t know what to say.
Thanks for returning my drops.
A good Thursday. Mizé.

Marilyn said...

That is an awesome photograph.

This is a really neat blog. I'll try to make it back here once in a while.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks AngelBaby, glad you like the meteor, you'll have to see them live some day.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks for dropping by Mize, glad you like the site,like your site too, Entrecard is great for meeting new people.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Marilyn, good to see you here.

Anonymous said...

I think a meteor just dropped Near Saskatoon. I wasnt sure so i was wondering if anyone knows more about it

kml said...

Congrats on your front page - it's well deserved! Love the animation with this one!

Anna said...

Bob you had telescope collection, don't tell me that you found better one that is why your current got to go, lol. So you an expert, that is cool, I will pencil you in for future reference. May be one day....
Excellent photos as always, and congrats for making NASA spaceweather gallery...Anna :)

Anonymous said...

Did you catch the meteor out this evening at around 6:25? It was amazing!

Livingsword said...

Hi Bob….

Congratulations on your hat trick!!!!

I love your camouflaged hot tub!

You know I would like to buy a telescope (I do have a small one)….alas it is either that or our vacation to Hawaii and the vacation is cheaper :)

…I live vicariously thru you my friend…but one day….

Bob Johnson said...

Lol again livingsword, love that hot tub, keeps me warm at night.

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