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Don't forget, folks! If you have clear sky tonight or tomorrow night, go out somewhere dark and watch the skies - after midnight is best, but any time after 10pm is good. You might see something like this (a time-exposure for dramatic effect, of course):

Click the image to see the story.

Bring a blanket and insect repellant, plus plan a good spot to park and lie down where you won't get hit by passing motorists. Go somewhere that has a dark-ish sky, especially in the northward direction, but if you have a dark sky in whatever direction, just watch the darkest part of the sky. You'll see about one meteor per minute in areas that aren't light-polluted, less depending on how much of the sky is glowy.

Don't just stand and crane your neck, or you'll lose enjoyment in a hurry. Be patient. Talk about life, the universe, and everything. Once in a while, your discussion will be punctuated by, "Oooh, did you see that?"

Speaking of falling stars, I went to see Stardust today with adammaker and Jack and a friend of Adam's, and ran into Chris K. at the theater. Oh, my, if you haven't seen it yet and you like fantasy, GO SEE THIS MOVIE! I loved it! Must go see it again.

Dark skies,
Chris

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( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
holyoutlaw
Aug. 12th, 2007 06:24 am (UTC)
I've gone on Perseid expeditions, they can be a lot of fun.

And I love that picture, it's really cool. It would be great to take a picture like that. Yeah!
mckitterick
Aug. 12th, 2007 06:26 am (UTC)
I know: Once again, it makes me wish I had a proper SLR-type digital camera with a real CCD for astrophotography. *sigh*

Some day - hopefully soon - I shall be posting my own astro-photos that I've taken with my own camera. I wonder... maybe Best Buy is having a sale tomorrow....
roseconnelly
Aug. 12th, 2007 02:40 pm (UTC)
A lot of the ametuer/professional Digital SLRs use CMOS sensors. Olympus would be the exception. Although, I think it is the mid-range ones like the Olympus E-500.

Canon--my brand of choice--uses CCD sensors in their cheaper point-and-shoots, but uses CMOS in all their Digital SLRs. I've never really looked into which consumer camera is best for astrophotography. You should look to see who has done it with a CMOS sensor because it will be easier to find if you want a higher end professional type camera. If you want a mid-range ameteur camera (which will be a lot cheaper), see if anybody has reviewed using an Olympus.



mckitterick
Aug. 12th, 2007 04:41 pm (UTC)
I've been thinking CCD because that's what all the dedicated astro-imagers use: Less "noise" from long exposures than other devices. To do it right, I should buy one of those 2" x 3" format CCDs with built-in cooling devices so I can expose the CCD all night without the little dots from a CMOS.
professormass
Aug. 12th, 2007 07:07 am (UTC)

Around what time would be best tomorrow, in the EST?
mckitterick
Aug. 12th, 2007 07:28 am (UTC)
The best time is after midnight, when the dark side of the Earth faces into its orbit (when we are most likely to collide with more space debris). Any time after the sky gets dark is good, though!
queza7
Aug. 12th, 2007 01:21 pm (UTC)
Are you getting a group together for tonight? If you are I'll most likely tag along. :)
silvergoth
Aug. 12th, 2007 03:17 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the Perseid heads-up. I'll pass it along. And thanks for the Stardust "review." ;-)
jeanineers
Aug. 12th, 2007 10:06 pm (UTC)
When I was a kid my dad used to set the pup tent up in the back yard during Perseid shower time. We would lay in the tent with our heads outside the flap and watch the skies until I finally drifted off to sleep. Sometimes we were camping in the mountains in August and had the most spectacular views of the shower. Thanks for the reminder.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )