20 October 2004

Wish upon a shooting star

Okay, so I am not entirely sure that a meteor shower constitutes as shooting stars, but that's what they look like to me... (And checking the web, I find that that's pretty much *exactly* what they are... Woo-hoo!)

Tomorrow morning will be the best time to view the Orionids. According to About.com: "The best time to view the Orionid meteors is after midnight when Earth's rotation aligns our line of sight with the direction of Earth's motion around the Sun. Then we're heading directly into the stream of meteors. To find the Orionids, go outside and face South-southeast. The radiant, indicated by a red dot on the sky map, is near two of the sky's most familiar landmarks: the constellation Orion and Sirius, the brightest star in the sky. At midnight the radiant will be rising in the southeast, and by a.m. Orion will be high in the sky when you face due south."

Another site recommends: "Go outside before sunrise, around 5:30 a.m. is best, and look east. The brightest object in that direction is the planet Venus. It looks like a star going supernova. Above Venus lies Saturn, and below, near the horizon, is Jupiter. Every 10 minutes or so you'll see a meteor streak among these planets. The meteors are pieces of Halley's Comet."

Sadly, it has been pretty cloudy here lately, so I am not sure we will be able to see much, but I'd like to try. Science Boy and I had our first date meeting to see a meteor shower and, all romance aside, it was spectacular. If you've never seen one yet, it's well worth setting your alarm, packing a thermos of coffee, and trying to get out.

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