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Comet's Debris Promises Celestial Light-Show
Ananova ^ | 8-11-2002

Posted on 08/11/2002 11:35:09 AM PDT by blam

Comet's debris promises celestial light-show

Earth is about to plough through a thick cloud of comet dust giving sky watchers a celestial treat.

The Perseid meteor shower, which puts on a display at this time every year, is now approaching its maximum intensity.

It will peak tomorrow, sending shooting stars blazing trails across the sky at a rate which could reach two a minute.

This year's Perseid show should be a good one because there will be virtually no moon, and the meteor numbers are expected to be higher than usual.

The Perseids, which have mystified and terrified people for nearly 2,000 years, are so named because they appear to emerge from the eastern constellation of Perseus.

The meteors are small bits of debris shed by a huge six-mile-wide comet, Swift-Tuttle, that sails into our Solar System from a distant region of space beyond the planet Pluto every 135 years.

When the Perseid particles hit the top of the Earth's atmosphere at 135,000 mph they become glowing hot and appear as bright shooting stars criss-crossing the sky in all directions.

Most meteors produce bright white streaks, but sometimes they can burst like fireballs.

Robin Scagell, of the Society for Popular Astronomy, said: "The best time to watch will be from about 10pm onwards. The meteors will appear to come from the east, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

"There could also be random meteors as well, not connected with any particular shower, as there are plenty of these on August nights as well. You can be anywhere in the UK, but as always it's best to be away from street lights and in the country. Try to see as much of the sky as possible in order to have the best chance of seeing a shooting star."

Story filed: 14:25 Sunday 11th August 2002


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: celestial; comets; debris; space

1 posted on 08/11/2002 11:35:09 AM PDT by blam
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To: blam
Anyone know how good the viewing will be in the US Midwest?
2 posted on 08/11/2002 11:37:12 AM PDT by Notforprophet
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To: blam
Did Asteroids And Comets Turn The Tides Of Civilization?
3 posted on 08/11/2002 11:37:14 AM PDT by blam
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To: RightWhale; RadioAstronomer; callisto
FYI
4 posted on 08/11/2002 11:40:36 AM PDT by blam
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To: blam
Well I liked your post! Very interesting. Did you ever read Igor Stravinsky's "Rites of August" or his "World's In Collision" series of books? parsy.
5 posted on 08/11/2002 11:42:59 AM PDT by parsifal
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To: parsifal
"Did you ever read Igor Stravinsky's "Rites of August" or his "World's In Collision" series of books? "

No. (I scanned through World's In Collision some years ago)

6 posted on 08/11/2002 11:54:37 AM PDT by blam
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To: parsifal
Disaster That Struck The Ancients
7 posted on 08/11/2002 11:58:34 AM PDT by blam
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To: Notforprophet
Anyone know how good the viewing will be in the US Midwest?

Check for yourself: www.SpaceWeather.com

8 posted on 08/11/2002 11:58:49 AM PDT by Izzy Dunne
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To: PatrickHenry; longshadow; RadioAstronomer
Grab a sleeping bag and camp out for the night ping!
9 posted on 08/11/2002 11:59:36 AM PDT by Scully
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To: Scully
Grab a sleeping bag and camp out for the night ping!

Does anyone know if the infamous Seventh Planet will be in the sky at the same time? If so, the conjunction of that planet with the meteor shower will be a powerful omen.

10 posted on 08/11/2002 12:04:01 PM PDT by PatrickHenry
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To: blam
the Perseid particles hit the top of the Earth's atmosphere at 135,000 mph

That's near the top limit of speed for incoming objects that are part of the solar system already. If the main object [6 miles] ever hits earth it could vaporize a significant part of a continent.

11 posted on 08/11/2002 12:04:34 PM PDT by RightWhale
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To: PatrickHenry
This from Frostydrew:

Uranus rises at 7:50 PM and sets at 6:17 AM. Uranus, in Capricorn, is in the eastern sky this evening. Uranus will spend 2002 oscillating along the border between Capricorn and Aquarius before moving totally into Aquarius in 2003. Uranus looks like a dim green star. Uranus is just on the borderline of visibility to the unaided eye. In practice, you'll need binoculars to see it.

What sort of omen did you have in mind?

12 posted on 08/11/2002 12:11:27 PM PDT by Scully
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To: parsifal
Not Stravinsky, he wrote the Rite of Spring, the great symphony.

Immanuel Velikovsky wrote Worlds In Collision, postulating his idea that the inner planets were not always in such regular and good-neighborly orbit.

13 posted on 08/11/2002 12:13:37 PM PDT by jwfiv
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To: blam
Doesn't look like I'll get to see this one- it's really overcast outside :-(

Maybe I'll get to see the asteroid on the 18th though, fingers crossed.

14 posted on 08/11/2002 12:31:46 PM PDT by Prodigal Son
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To: *Space
Index Bump
15 posted on 08/11/2002 12:37:02 PM PDT by Free the USA
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To: Scully
What sort of omen did you have in mind?

I'm not sure. But there's an old saying: "Nothing good ever comes from the Seventh Planet."

16 posted on 08/11/2002 1:00:54 PM PDT by PatrickHenry
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To: PatrickHenry; Scully; Piltdown_Woman
If so, the conjunction of that planet with the meteor shower will be a powerful omen.

No doubt it has great import with respect to the "Sacred Geometry" and it's associated "vibrational resonances" depicted in crop-circles. Be sure to alert the Perpetually Turgid One of this information....

17 posted on 08/11/2002 1:46:20 PM PDT by longshadow
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To: longshadow
Be sure to alert the Perpetually Turgid One of this information....

I'm really afraid to ask about this...

18 posted on 08/11/2002 2:02:12 PM PDT by Scully
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To: Scully
I'm really afraid to ask about this.

You're dying to ask.

19 posted on 08/11/2002 2:04:05 PM PDT by PatrickHenry
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To: PatrickHenry
Ummm...I think this is a time for freepmail, LOL!
20 posted on 08/11/2002 2:10:59 PM PDT by Scully
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To: Notforprophet
Anyone know how good the viewing will be in the US Midwest?

Went out into the middle of Table Rock lake Thursday night and saw at least four in less than one hour.

(Also saw the International Space Station, Venus, and a multitude of bats feeding right over our heads)

FYI Table Rock Lake is on the MO/AR border...

21 posted on 08/11/2002 2:32:06 PM PDT by ZOOKER
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To: Notforprophet
Anyone know how good the viewing will be in the US Midwest?

I spent last week camping near Baraboo, Wisconsin, and viewing was excellent out there away from city lights.

Between 11:00 last night and 2:00 this morning, I saw a meteor every two minutes or so.

22 posted on 08/11/2002 4:46:05 PM PDT by LouD
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To: longshadow; FormerLurker
Only too happy to oblige!
23 posted on 08/11/2002 5:59:02 PM PDT by Aracelis
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To: Piltdown_Woman
longshadow: Be sure to alert the Perpetually Turgid One of this information

Still sulking longshadow? You never did get back to me on your ideas on Wave Matter Theory and how it relates to the Golden Ratio, or give me your thoughts on the Fibonocci Sequence deriving from whirling Golden Rectangles..

Piltdown_Woman: Only too happy to oblige!

Are you still thinking of giving me your "Pro Bono Assessment" of, ahem, my "p-r-i-a-p-i-s-m".. :)

24 posted on 08/11/2002 6:13:44 PM PDT by FormerLurker
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To: Piltdown_Woman; longshadow
longshadow: Be sure to alert the Perpetually Turgid One of this information

Still sulking longshadow? You never did get back to me on your ideas on Wave Matter Theory and how it relates to the Golden Ratio, or give me your thoughts on the Fibonocci Sequence deriving from whirling Golden Rectangles..

Piltdown_Woman: Only too happy to oblige!

Are you still thinking of giving me your "Pro Bono Assessment" of, ahem, my "p-r-i-a-p-i-s-m".. :)

25 posted on 08/11/2002 6:14:25 PM PDT by FormerLurker
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To: FormerLurker
Still sulking longshadow?

Still beating your wife?

26 posted on 08/11/2002 6:23:43 PM PDT by longshadow
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To: FormerLurker
ROFL! Touche :-)

But now you know at least when to look for Uranus.

27 posted on 08/11/2002 6:24:35 PM PDT by Aracelis
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To: Piltdown_Woman
Uranus

[Gasp!] What's wrong with you? Have you no shame? In polite society, that orb is always referred to as the Seventh Planet.

28 posted on 08/11/2002 7:08:32 PM PDT by PatrickHenry
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To: Piltdown_Woman
But now you know at least when to look for Uranus.

What's Uranus got to do with either celestial light shows or priaprism? :)

29 posted on 08/11/2002 7:13:21 PM PDT by FormerLurker
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To: longshadow
Still beating your wife?

Now now longshadow, get over it, as I know a few spify comebacks too...

30 posted on 08/11/2002 7:16:22 PM PDT by FormerLurker
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To: PatrickHenry
In polite society, that orb is always referred to as the Seventh Planet.

Pardon me, I thought I was posting on FreeRep...I am! What's this place got to do with polite society?

31 posted on 08/11/2002 7:33:21 PM PDT by Aracelis
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To: FormerLurker
Sorry, you've fallen victim to an inside joke.
32 posted on 08/11/2002 7:34:05 PM PDT by Aracelis
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