August 13th, 2010


Astro-Porn of the Day: Perseid meteor adventure

Here's a gorgeous shot of a meteor over Hungary:

Click the image to see the APOD story.

In Lawrence, the Perseids were a bit disappointing: Too much humidity in the air = very small dome overhead of clear, darkish sky. Still, I had a lovely time out with friends!

We started the astro-fun with the gorgeous planetary alignment, which at sunset included Venus and the thin crescent Moon (Mercury was below the treeline), and as the sky darkened, Mars and Saturn shone right beside Venus, with the Moon's glow just visible through the trees. A little later, a few friends piled into my Saab convertible (which I just got working correctly a few hours beforehand, woohoo!) and headed off to a park a few miles north of town. Not far enough for great meteor-watching, as it turns out, but a great place for adventures: swimming in the raging Kaw river while catching the occasional meteor. No fireballs, but we saw probably a nice streak every so often. The boat-launch ramp had a grippy concrete surface, so even though the power of the water was too great to stand against higher than waist-level, we could just grip by our toes to keep from being dragged downstream. The water was just cool enough to ward off sweatiness while struggling against the current. Great fun!

Did you see any nice meteors? How many per hour do you estimate flashed across the sky where you live?