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 Post subject: Heads Up - Night Sky
PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:56 am 
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Climax
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Location: South facing foothills of the Santa Susanas
Heads up for things in the night sky. No guarantees but there's always something up there...
Have fun & good luck...

http://earthsky.org/tonight/delta-aquar ... -july-2013
The Delta Aquarid meteor shower is predicted to be at its best during the wee hours before dawn on Monday, July 29, and Tuesday, July 30, 2013. The most favorable viewing window is from about 1 a.m. (2 a.m. Daylight Saving Time) until the onset of morning dawn. These viewing times apply to all time zones around the world. Although this shower is visible from both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, it tends to favor the more southerly latitudes. North of the equator, it’s better seen in the tropical and subtropical regions rather than farther north. The maximum hourly rate can reach 15-20 meteors in a dark sky. The nominal peak is around July 29-30, but, unlike many meteor showers, the Delta Aquarids lack a very definite peak. This is a long, rambling shower that’ll stretch out for weeks beyond the peak, combining with the Perseid meteor shower peak on August 11-13. So if you miss the shower tonight, keep watching!

http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essential ... ower-guide
August 10-13, 2013 before dawn, the Perseids
The Perseid meteor shower is perhaps the most beloved meteor shower of the year for the Northern Hemisphere. The shower builds gradually to a peak, often produces 50 to 100 meteors per hour in a dark sky at the peak, and, for us in the Northern Hemisphere, this shower comes when the weather is warm. The Perseids tend to strengthen in number as late night deepens into midnight, and typically produce the most meteors in the wee hours before dawn. They radiate from a point in the constellation Perseus the Hero, but, as with all meteor shower radiant points, you don’t need to know Perseus to watch the shower; instead, the meteors appear in all parts of the sky. They are typically fast and bright meteors. They frequently leave persistent trains. Every year, you can look for the Perseids around August 10-13. They combine with the Delta Aquarid shower (above) to produce the year’s most dazzling display of shooting stars. In 2013, the Perseid meteors will streak across the short summer nights – August 10-13 – from late night until dawn, with little to no interference from the waxing crescent moon. Plus the moon will be near the planet Saturn in the evening hours, giving a colorful prelude to late-night Perseid show. Best mornings to look: August 11, 12 and 13.

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 Post subject: Re: Heads Up - Night Sky
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:01 pm 
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Rodger's Ridge
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^^^ bump for Perseid meteor shower this weekend. Moon is in perfect phase to a dark sky so hopefully it will be a good show. Tonight and tomorrow should be best viewing nights particularly after 1am locally.


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 Post subject: Re: Heads Up - Night Sky
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:52 pm 
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Rodger's Ridge
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Did anyone else see the crescent moon and Venus in the western sky just after sunset? Absolutely beautiful and it was nice that the marine layer cooperated and stayed off shore so we could see it.

Cell phone pic doesn't do it justice of course...

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Heads Up - Night Sky
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:07 pm 
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Cornice Bowl
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^Nice!

Heading out to Laguna tonight for the show...now if only I can stay up long enough :drunk:

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 Post subject: Re: Heads Up - Night Sky
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:50 pm 
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Climax
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Got out at 5 AM and watched for about 30 minutes, saw about 10. Some were brighter than any of the stars that were out. Always get a kick seeing them even at home.. in the city. Sunday got up at 1:30 AM, saw a couple - too tired to really care.

"Although the forecast called for the 2013 Perseid meteor shower to produce the most meteors in the dark hours before dawn this morning (August 12, 2013), the meteor output might be comparable, or nearly so, before dawn on Tuesday, August 13."
http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essential ... ower-guide

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 Post subject: Re: Heads Up - Night Sky
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:15 pm 
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Rodger's Ridge
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Since the coast was completely socked in with the marine layer I drove up to Cuyamaca Lake to watch the Perseid show. It was nice and clear and the sky was very dark. I even saw several driving up. The show was really good with lots of fireballs that were very bright. At 48 degrees it felt a little like Fall. I was surprised how many people were up in the mountains for the show. Didn't get home until after 5am so I'm a little tired today but it was worth it!


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 Post subject: Re: Heads Up - Night Sky
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:27 pm 
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Rodger's Ridge
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I'm not satisfied with the pics I was able to get last night but there's only so much you can do. It's obvious (to me!) that I need a new camera that handles high ISO better and a really fast wide angle lens. Anyone have 5 grand laying around I can have???

This first shot is looking east about 4:15am as Orion rises above the horizon. Jupiter is the bright star to the left of Orion. Mars is just below the horizon.
Image

A Perseid passes just above the North Star.
Image

Another Perseid this time looking more northwest and capturing some of the Milky Way.
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Heads Up - Night Sky
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:11 pm 
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Climax
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Nice pics SNS, I was hoping you'd get some...
:y:

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 Post subject: Re: Heads Up - Night Sky
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:14 pm 
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Rodger's Ridge
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Of course part of the problem with getting a pic of a meteor is that you have to get lucky and be taking an exposure when it streaks by. It would be easier if I had a equatorial type mount that allowed me to shoot several minute long exposures without creating star trails. I thought about doing some really long - maybe 10 min - exposures but the battery in my intervalometer was dead. Ooops.


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 Post subject: Re: Heads Up - Night Sky
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:02 pm 
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Wow, SnS...I think your shots are pretty impressive myself! :y:

I got up at 4:15 to go potty and opened up our slider window covering to see what I could see. Almost immediately a fireball streaked by, which was really cool. So I stood there until nearly 5:00 and saw a few other showers, but none as bright and with a long tail like the first one I viewed. 8-)

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 Post subject: Re: Heads Up - Night Sky
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:41 am 
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Kiwi Flat
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SnS, I like your pictures, thanks for sharing. I would love a great camera and lens so I could capture things like that.

SL, I'm glad you got to see a few "fireballs" from your window.

Teresa and I left Sunday night/Monday morning at 1 a.m. and drove a few miles up 395 from June. We found a dirt road and took it another mile into complete darkness. What we witnessed was amazing. We stayed from 1:20 a.m. to 4:20 a.m. and were treated to quite a show.

I tried to take some pictures with my G12 but they just didn't come out. Maybe next time I'll have a better camera.

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 Post subject: Re: Heads Up - Night Sky
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:52 pm 
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Rodger's Ridge
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Thanks OGT. The G12 isn't the best camera for shooting this type of stuff but you might get some decent shots. Try shooting on manual at ISO 3200 for 30 seconds lens wide open (f 2.8 if you can) and zoom all the way out. A tripod is a must and use the self timer to minimize camera shake. I'm sure the meteor shower must have been amazing for you and Teresa. One thing about the Perseids is that you can generally see a lot more fireballs than most meteor showers and it certainly didn't disappoint this year.

I'm sure I could have gotten better shots if I had been up in the Sierra where the air is cleaner and the sky is even darker(when it's not smoky anyway).


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 Post subject: Re: Heads Up - Night Sky
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:57 pm 
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Kiwi Flat
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Thanks SnS but I think the most the G12 will do is 15 seconds. Correct me if I'm wrong though.

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 Post subject: Re: Heads Up - Night Sky
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:57 pm 
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Kiwi Flat
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Nice shots SNS!

Here's an impressive gallery of shots from the shower... um, meteor shower. :?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/yahooedito ... 5065238094



I saw about 16 in 30 min last night. I pulled a muscle in my next on Sunday, so looking up for too long hurt. :oops:


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 Post subject: Re: Heads Up - Night Sky
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:04 pm 
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Climax
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Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2011 10:04 pm
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Location: South facing foothills of the Santa Susanas
I'm glad you guys got to see them. Sounded like a great time OGT! Isn't it amazing whats up there!!
Went out early AM and saw a few more. The last one was a cool fireball going across with an illuminating contrail tail.
Then it happened... the marine layer.
Hope your next feels better Snowave, time to order that outdoor jacuzzi. UPS delivers pretty much every where. :D

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