Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Get Ready for the Perseids: Join the World in Watching

This year's Perseid meteor shower on August 11-14 is predicted to be one of the best in recent years, and if this awesome trailer from "MeteorWatch" organizer Adrian West doesn't get you excited, then nothing will! Who knew meteors could be such a heart-pumping thrill ride! If you haven't heard of MeteorWatch, it is a way to watch the shower with others, and share your experiences even if you are out there watching all alone. This is a social media astronomical event that has been a big hit among Twitterers for previous events. But there's lots of ways to join in, not only on Twitter (hashtage is #meteorwatch). Everyone is welcome whether they are an astronomer or just have an interest in the night sky. The aim is to get as many people to look up as possible and maybe see meteors or even some fireballs for the first time. Here are a few additional resources:

1) a dedicated website with a "live" Twitter page
2) a handy Twitter observation reporting system, (still being coded, so check the website out as the Perseids approach) to map and archive international meteor counts, etc.
3) live AstronomyFM (AFM) Radio updates from the Under British Skies crew in England, with possible updates from other places around the world.
4) Meteorwatch is also on Facebook
Tavi Greiner from "A Sky Full of Stars" has some fun Perseid facts, as well as some tips for planning for the Perseids.

And if it is cloudy where you are for the Perseids, you can always try listening for meteor "pings" via radio. Its very cool and fun, too.


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