Wednesday, November 10, 2010


With much thanks to Dr. George Atchley of Samford's Christenberry Planetarium:

"The Leonid meteor shower begins tonight and will continue until around Nov. 23. The peak of the shower is next Wednesday morning, Nov. 17. The best viewing will occur after midnight the morning of the peak in the eastern sky. However, the moon will interfere until it sets around 3 a.m. Rising early to see the meteors on Nov. 18 should provide optimal spotting, up to 20 meteors per hour."

"Try around 4:30 a.m. on Nov. 18 at the darkest sight you can find. I’ve found some good sites in Chelsea away from Highway 280. If you travel 15 or so miles away from downtown Birmingham and locate an area with no white lights (street lamps, window lights, etc.), and then wait about 15-20 minutes for your eyes to dark adapt, and clouds don’t block your view, then you should be rewarded with the sighting of incinerating comet remains."

"If you’ve seen some brighter meteors recently, the Taurids bombard our atmosphere throughout November with fireballs, a larger variety of meteorites which are observable in less darkness. So just like texting, keep looking up – only not when driving!"

"Want to get a picture? Set up your digital camera on a tripod, focus on infinity and leave the shutter open for several seconds for the most dramatic effect."

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