anyone gazing upon the skies on wed. early morn??

Discussion in 'General' started by chiefMOJOrisin, Sep 13, 2007.

  1. I was viewing the stars yesterday early morn (9/12-3:30am est) and one of the things that keeps me setting my alarm on clear nights occured. Well, it occured 7 or 8 times. Probably more because I wasn't looking for it. I'm talking about meteorites. Meteor showers are one of the best things ever. Especially when it isn't during peak activity.

    There are, i believe, 9 'major' showers throughout the year. But there are minor showers all year round.... giving the oppourtunity to see a shooting star every night of the year. The september Perseids peaked on sept. 9th but are active from the 5th-16th. The meteors i saw were part of that shower. However, i am quite certain that one or two were from another shower. The delta Aurigids go from sept 18th- oct. 10. I know the majority of the flares I saw were in the constellation Perseus.... but the constellation the Aurigids stem from, Auriga is right next to Peseus. So I think I peeped a couple from there. Aslo because one or two were obviously entering earths atmosphere at different directions.....and it seemed different speeds.

    Any clear night you will find me in my back yard with with either binoculars or a telescope checking out the cosmos. I have been most interested in M45 (Messier object 45) which is an awesome cluster that is visible with the naked eye.... but with magnification it is really one of the better objects to check out. Also the Hyades cluster.... which is in a pretty close pairing with Mars during the wee hours of the morn. As i was looking up, mentally mapping the sky for my next look through the binocs... I saw a rather small meteorite shoot from south to north. It was an indigo blue color and ended with a white flash. That one is one I think is part of the Aurigids.

    One of my all time favorite celestial objects is Messier object 42 (M42). It is a cluster with amazing nebulae surrounding it. It is just to the right of the bottom star of Orions belt. As a mater of fact... there is also a bright nebula on the bottom of Orions belt. You cant make it out... but the Horsehead Nebula resides there. From there I 'traveled' northwest to see the Andromeda galaxy (M31) in the Andromeda constellation.... and the California Nebula (NGC1499) in the constellation Perseus. As I was viewing with my naked eye I saw 2 meteorites in a matter of 6 seconds. Both parallel to each other about .5 degrees apart. (your fist at arms length is roughly 4 degrees) After I saw those 2 I decided to prolong my stay until I ran inside to grab a bowl of some haze and an iced-tea. As soon as I opened my back door I saw the biggest and brightest shooting star I have ever seen. I mean.... if I combined the size and brightness of ALL the meteorites I've seen ALL year they still wouldn't add up to this one. It was so big I heard it. This one was in the same direction as the 2 I saw earlier... moving north to south, right through Perseus. This one was bright white... its bright light was visible for long enough for me to see the tail of smoke behind it. I swear it was almost a second long. When it reached its end it exploded in a big flash. I heard the whole thing too. I heard its 'zip" as it was streaching through the sky.... and i heard its airy 'pop' as it exploded into the night.

    Meteors are the best when they aren't expected. They are also great when they are expect too, though. So many things come out when you're sitting peacefully in the dark, eyeing the vastness of our universe. That same night I saw 3 satellites and the International Space Station. Satellites are fun to see because they look just like a star... but they glide across the sky in a completely uniform speed and direction. Then they disappear once out of the suns light.

    I would recommend to anyone interested in astonomy that they go outside one night and just look. It is an undescribable feeling to be able to look up and know what you're looking at. And to do research on an object to find out how far away it is, how it formed, how old it is.... etc. I used to love just looking at the stars... then I got a pair of binoculars. I would go outside at 9pm and look for an hour or so...... then one night I saw a meteor shower and from then on I stayed out for hours at a time. Very similar to sitting in the woods letting nature come to you.... I sit and let the comsos show itself to me.

    I went outside at about 3 am (est) and stayed until sun-up. Venus rises at about 4 am... and is visible for me at around 430-5. And stays brightly radiant in the eastern sky until the sun comes up. Saturn also rises around then but is very hard to spot because it is right above the horizon in the east....where the sun rises. If you can spot the star Regulus you should be able to spot Saturn because Saturn is about 1 degree below and to the left of Regulus. But if the sun is washig out Regulus, Saturn is not going to be easy to see.

    Basically the point of this post was to ask anyone if they saw any shooting stars over the last 2 nights (i saw some early this morn too--9/13@ 3am-6am). I'm also wondering if any people here on the forum are into astronomy and if they have sen any of the things I've see and like to see.

  2. there is nothing like a clear colorado night

    i love looking up at the stars evne though i dont do it very often

  3. you ain't kiddin..... i live in connecticut and there are a lot of dark places away from light. but more places that are washed out by new york city and its suburbs and all the towns along the water (me).

    but when i go to visit one of my best friends who moved to colorado (she moved to jefferson county, now shes in araphoe[spelling???] county). she takes me to the best places. no light pollution anywhere. kinda nuts.....she moved from CT like 5+ years ago and went to columbine....after the fact...but still....she took me there and it was so freakin wierd and eerie to stand in front of that school....associating pictures from the news to the actual building i was looking at.

    you're lucky.... i would take advantage of them skies more often
  4. Excellent posting C'. +rep.


  5. im with ya on the CT thing, it getting bad out in the woods where i am now...:mad:
  6. ya i live in jefferson county

    there are places to look at the stars in the front range that are good

    but i have never seen it darker anywhere than the mountains at night, its cool going up there

    lately there have been a bunch of outdoor raves going on in giant fields in the mountains, just imagine having lasers coming through the woods and some funky techno beat going lol its tight

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