Perseids Meteor Shower on Eaglesham Moor – but no photo :-(
Sky at Night (SaN) magazine says The best way to observe the Perseids visually is from a good dark spot away from stray lights. That doesn’t sound like our back garden in Glasgow so I drove out to Whitelee Wind Farm on Eaglesham Moor at midnight. I followed SaN’s step-by-step guide to photographing Perseid meteors, but it was an utter failure I’m afraid – 41 30-second exposures provided 41 perfectly black images. Maybe I should have used an even higher ISO setting (3200 instead of 1600) and almost certainly I needed a wider aperture lens.
The good news though is that I did see the best meteor I have ever seen visually. There were quite a few also-rans as well but one shooting star was truly spectacular – very bright, almost horizontal across the sky, and all over in a second or two.
See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-33850710 for:
Skywatchers around the world are in for a dazzling display as the annual Perseid meteor shower reaches its peak on Wednesday night.
Viewing is weather-dependent, however, and cloud cover may spoil the party in many parts of the UK.
Above the clouds, conditions are unusually favourable because the shower will coincide with a new moon.
The Perseids are pieces of Comet Swift-Tuttle; each August, the Earth passes through a cloud of the comet’s debris.
Swift-Tuttle shed this material long ago, and it is now distributed as a tenuous “river of rubble” along the comet’s orbit around the Sun.
These particles of ice and dust (which range from the size of a grain of sand to around as big as a pea) hit the Earth’s atmosphere at about 60km/s (37 miles/s).
As they do so, they heat the air around them, causing the characteristic streak of light.
The meteor shower is visible across the Northern hemisphere and from as far as subtropical latitudes south of the Equator. Prime viewing hours, wherever you are, stretch from about 23:00 local time on 12 August until the morning of 13 August.
This is when the shower’s “radiant,” the point from which the meteors appear to originate, is high up in the sky. The higher the radiant, the more meteors appear all over the sky.