Baton Rouge Astronomical Society Forum

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PostPosted: May 18th, 2017, 4:04 pm 

Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Posts: 3561
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
The Perseid meteor shower lasts this year from 13 July to 26 August. Practically speaking, within forty kilometers of Baton Rouge one should look from 10 August to 14 August.

HRPO personnel are planning to have the facility open from 10pm on Friday 11 August to 2am on Saturday 12 August. The only government property in EBR Parish people are allowed to use for viewing this event is probably the Highland Road Park Observatory. HRPO is definitely the only BREC property on which people can be for the Perseids. The viewing session has no admission fee and all ages are allowed.

On the night of 11/12 August the radiant will be at the following altitudes...
10pm = 7˚
11pm = 13˚
12am = 20˚
1am = 27˚
2am = 35˚

One should lie comfortably on the ground on a blanket or tarp that can get dirty. Alternatively, use a lawn chair or some other reclining chair. Due to the interference of a 19.2-day-old Moon, HRPO personnel recommend facing the following directions...
from 10pm to 11pm = southeast (opposite Baton Rouge's light pollution)
from 11pm to 1:30am = west (opposite the rising Moon)
from 1:30am to 2am = northwest (opposite the Moon)
Most of the time, one should keep the head angled to a point about halfway to two-thirds from horizon to zenith.

General tips for viewing meteors include...
*Dress warmly. You'd be surprised how much body heat you lose while immobile outdoors (even in the summer).
*Do not consume alcohol of any sort. Even before consumption has given you a "buzz", it has hindered night vision.
*Do not allow your electronic device (flip phone, smart phone, tablet etc.) to glow in your eyes unless you can have it glow red and faint. There will be instructions inside the main building for toggling iPhones to and from a red light display.
*Do not take your eyes off the sky! Even the slowest meteors are quite fast. Talk and socialize if desired, but everyone around should understand that searching for meteors is taking precedent.
*Do not break any laws or ignore any basic safety principles to increase the chance of seeing more meteor streaks; it's not worth it.

The Perseid radiant lies five-and-a-half degrees east-northeast of the Perseid Double Cluster and two-and-three-quarters degrees from Eta Persei, an M-class magnitude 3.8 double star. A few meteors seen during these mornings may be sporadic (not associated with any shower) or related to one of many minor showers happening simultaneously.

If you choose to view from your backyard, make advanced plans to extinguish your home's outer lights and to request that your neighbors do the same. If you have a civic or homeowners' association consider making a motion to adopt a policy to switch to and maintain full cut-off (FCO) lighting year-round; this will make your neighborhood perpetually "ready" for viewing meteors in the night sky.

Please do not go anywhere for which you've not been given permission, or anywhere that is unsafe.

PostPosted: July 20th, 2017, 9:05 am 

Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Posts: 3561
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
This year's Perseid shower has begun technically.

Robert Lunsford says that through the 21st the total hourly meteor rates will be about three before midnight and about twelve after midnight--assuming little light pollution in the local vicinity. Not all the meteor streaks will be necessarily Perseids.

More information:

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