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2020 Perseid Meteor Shower

Posted: June 11th, 2020, 4:53 pm
by Christopher K.
The Perseid meteor shower lasts this year roughly from 17 July to 1 September. 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 to 2am on the peak night, which the American Meteor Society has determined to be 11/12 August. (This determination may change as late as 11 July, but it is unlikely.) The waning crescent Moon will rise 12:36am and will not be a hindrance. 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.

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. 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.

Re: 2020 Perseid Meteor Shower

Posted: August 1st, 2020, 5:52 pm
by Christopher K.
There were six Perseid fireballs reported today by the NASA All-Sky Camera network.

HRPO's 36-Day Display routinely gives the day's fireball tracks determined by this network. Starting tonight, the total fireball slide will include the network's fireball logo and the enumeration (by shower) slide will include a correctly-oriented geocentric speed key to decode the track colors.

Re: 2020 Perseid Meteor Shower

Posted: August 5th, 2020, 5:25 pm
by Christopher K.
There were eight Perseid fireballs reported today by the NASA All-Sky Camera network.

Tonight is no good for Perseid hunting as the Moon rises before twilight ends. However...
6 August = twilight ends 9:23pm / Moon rises 10:05pm
7 August = twilight ends 9:21pm / Moon rises 10:35pm

Re: 2020 Perseid Meteor Shower

Posted: August 8th, 2020, 7:30 pm
by Christopher K.
Program Aide Judah Santiago will give a remote presentation on the Perseid Meteor Shower on Tuesday 11 August at 8pm. The participation instructions are between the dashed lines.

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Instructions removed after lecture finished.
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Re: 2020 Perseid Meteor Shower

Posted: August 10th, 2020, 4:35 pm
by Christopher K.
Bob King has a good article on this year's Perseids... ... -the-show/

...and of course, AMS's Bob Lunsford has his analysis on tomorrow night's peak... ... r-in-2020/

There were thirty Perseid fireballs reported today by the NASA All-Sky Camera network... ... rbital.png

Re: 2020 Perseid Meteor Shower

Posted: August 11th, 2020, 5:41 pm
by Christopher K.
The following restrictions will apply for all patrons until further notice…
*All people who are not part of the same household must stay at least six feet apart from one another.
*Only thirty (30) patrons are allowed on site at any one time.
*Only twelve (12) patrons are allowed inside the main floor at any one time.
*No patron will be allowed inside the main floor unless he/she agrees to a temperature scan and wears a mask.
*Only one (1) patron will be allowed inside each bathroom at any one time.
*There is a strict time limit of thirty minutes for each patron’s visit.

Below is the NOAA forecast for HRPO's planned viewing time of 10pm to 2am...
precipitation potential, 1%
sky cover, 21%
relative humidity, 85%
temperature, 28˚C
heat index, 32˚C
surface wind, SW 3 km/h

Danko's Clear Dark Sky states that during HRPO's viewing time the transparency rating will be "below average" (2 out of 5) and the seeing rating will be "good" (4 out of 5). The 20OGS and 16OGS domes will be closed to the public until the six-foot rule is abolished, and portable telescopes will be used only until midnight.

Peat predicts that the HRPO location will see a potential visible pass...
*the Resurs 01 rocket body, mag 2.1 beginning at 10:08pm

The 11 August 2020 rating is...

Re: 2020 Perseid Meteor Shower

Posted: August 12th, 2020, 11:59 pm
by Christopher K.
Over 100 enthusiastic visitors showed up at HRPO over the four-hour period; many were there for the first time. The sky was generally cooperative but it was very warm.