2018 Perseid Meteor Shower

Seen any good fireballs lately?
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Christopher K.
Posts: 4374
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

2018 Perseid Meteor Shower

Post by Christopher K. » May 17th, 2018, 4:29 pm

The Perseid meteor shower lasts this year from ~15 July to ~25 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 to 2am on the peak night, which has yet to be determined. 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.

Christopher K.
Posts: 4374
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: 2018 Perseid Meteor Shower

Post by Christopher K. » August 10th, 2018, 2:51 pm

Thanks to 225 Magazine for mentioning the HRPO event...
https://www.225batonrouge.com/things-to ... ory-aug-12

The Highland Road Park Observatory will be open Sunday night at 10pm for four hours--through early Monday morning at 2am...
http://hrpo.lsu.edu/programs/meteors.html

For the first portion of the event, personnel will be stationed at the front gate to distribute instructions. Most of the pertinent instructions are listed in the previous posting. Please keep in mind, for liability reasons members of the public not directly associated with HRPO (not a BREC employee, LSU P&A employee or student, or BRAS members) cannot set up viewing or photographic equipment on the ground--neither concrete nor grass. Binoculars are allowed but not used to see meteor streaks.

Tonight at 7:30pm at HRPO, the presentation will be "Meteor Showers". The presentation is aimed at a general adult audience and has no admission fee.
Last edited by Christopher K. on August 10th, 2018, 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Christopher K.
Posts: 4374
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: 2018 Perseid Meteor Shower

Post by Christopher K. » August 10th, 2018, 4:59 pm

Seems like everyone is excited about the Perseids, and why not? It basically is the first major entry of incredibly good nighttime periods for meteors, which runs from August to February.

Here's Sky & Telescope's write-up...
https://www.skyandtelescope.com/astrono ... ower-peak/

Christopher K.
Posts: 4374
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: 2018 Perseid Meteor Shower

Post by Christopher K. » August 11th, 2018, 4:51 pm

Here is a Michael Bakich article from Tuesday...
http://www.astronomy.com/magazine/obser ... e-perseids

...and here is this year's Perseid assessment from Robert Lunsford...
https://www.amsmeteors.org/2018/08/view ... r-in-2018/

Below is NOAA's current forecast for HRPO's four-hour viewing time of 10pm Sunday night to early Monday at 2am...
precipitation potential, 14%
sky cover, 44%
relative humidity, 91%
temperature, 26˚C
surface wind, SW 3 km/h

Danko's Clear Dark Sky states that during this time the transparency rating will be "poor" (1 out of 5) and the seeing rating will be "good" (4 out of 5). There will be only one more update of this forecast, at about 7pm tomorrow evening.

Christopher K.
Posts: 4374
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: 2018 Perseid Meteor Shower

Post by Christopher K. » August 12th, 2018, 5:23 pm

HRPO personnel had a brief conversation with officers at Troop A about a half-hour ago. HRPO alerted Troop A that there might be heavy parking and traffic between 9:30pm and 11:30pm. Troop A responded that there will be no issue unless people attempt to place a portion of their vehicles on the road. As Highland Road has no shoulder, do not park on Highland Road. Really, there is no good reason to do so...
http://hrpo.lsu.edu/observatory/parking.html

The second and final NOAA forecast will be posted in ninety minutes to two hours.

Christopher K.
Posts: 4374
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: 2018 Perseid Meteor Shower

Post by Christopher K. » August 12th, 2018, 7:24 pm

The NOAA forecast for 10pm to 2am is good...
precipitation potential, 7%
sky cover, 36%
relative humidity, 87%
temperature, 26˚C
heat index, 27˚C
surface wind, W 2 km/h


Patrons can park in the outer parking lot, or the adjacent parking lot next to the drone field, at any time. The Highland Road Park Observatory will open the gate to the inner parking lot at 9:30pm. Instructions are distributed at the front gate from 9:30pm to 11pm; if you arrive before that gate opens, or after 11pm, go inside the main building to obtain instructions at the front desk.

Please remember, meteor shower viewing events at HRPO are subdued. There will not be multiple and optional activities on the grounds (as with the Spooky Spectrum and International Astronomy Day). This is purposeful, to encourage people to be still and spot as many streaks as possible.

If you are fortunate enough to see a fireball, please memorize the starting and ending locations, brightness, color and speed. If need be, you may enter the main HRPO building to fill out the American Meteor Society reporting form immediately. Otherwise, please fill it out soon...
http://www.amsmeteors.org/members/imo/report_intro

Christopher K.
Posts: 4374
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: 2018 Perseid Meteor Shower

Post by Christopher K. » August 12th, 2018, 10:11 pm

It is currently raining at HRPO. If it rains on your vehicle as you are coming to HRPO, you may want to make other plans for the night.

Christopher K.
Posts: 4374
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: 2018 Perseid Meteor Shower

Post by Christopher K. » August 12th, 2018, 10:46 pm

It still has not stopped raining. HRPO will now be closing at 12am. We will close even earlier if it doesn't stop raining now. Our viewing grounds are soaked, and no portion of clear sky can be seen.

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