Thursday, August 13, 2009

Perseid meteor shower over London - my attempt to catch a glimpse of it

perseid+meteor+shower+london
image source unknown

I was informed by BBC news yesterday that it was the time of the year when Perseid (a rather quaint name for a meteor shower) travels across the skies over Earth and dozens of meteorites burning through Earth's atmosphere would be visible to the naked eye.

Needless to say, I was excited. The fact that the best time for viewing the meteor shower over London, when 'up to 80 meteorites per hour' was expected, was reported to be between 2.30am to 3.30am local time didn't deter me one bit. I figured that I could stay up till then battling mutants at Fallout 3.

The alarm went off at precisely 2.25am. Leaving my quest half completed, I raced towards the window in the dining room, which truth to be told, was a mere two steps (not even large ones) away from my TV console.

I opened my window and poked my head out. Hmm… other than the blinker of a distant plane, there was no sign of any meteorite, not even a star could be seen. Fine, maybe I was looking in the wrong direction. I turned to my bedroom window, which was four strides in the opposite direction. Still no luck. Give it a bit more time, maybe the meteorites were tearing through the ozone at that moment. But nope.

Half and hour later, something dawned to me and I quickly looked up Google Map only to confirm my suspicions - my dining window faces the North while the windows in my bedroom faces the East. Guess what? The meteor shower was in the North-easterly direction.

I headed for bed without catching a glimpse of Perseid and Fallout 3 quest uncompleted. Looking at the Times article this morning, it seems that many other Londoners were out of luck as well.

Did you manage to catch the Perseid meteor shower in action?

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8 comments:

SheR. said...

I didn't catch the whole shower. But I caught a Fireball :) That's not too bad!

FĂ«anor said...

Man, the last time I saw a meteor was in the late 1970s in Delhi. It wasn't as polluted then as it has since become, so the nights were clear. Come to think of it, it's been months since I've seen the stars in London. Or the Milky Way. Terrible.

(Re: Perseids, these are specific meteors that appear to come from the constellation Perseus. There are other named meteor showers as well.)

C K said...

@SheR,
You caught a WHAT!?

@Feanor,
I heard that meteor showers are more frequently seen than I thought. Perseid showers, for instance, come round once a year. It's just that this time round it caught on via Twitter.

Thanks for the wealth of info over at the link!

Dutchie said...

I hv the habit of solving the word puzzels while the news is on. It's a nice interlude to beat the boring news(now it's a daily dose of financial doom *sigh*). I did hear abt the meteor shower n consequently forgotten all abt it by the next news item - haha.

U r pretty determined, I hv to say ;-p !

xiaocangshu said...

I read there was supposed to be one of those here too, last week or so, only I didn't think I could stay up that late.

C K said...

@Dutchie,
Not to fret. Will be remind next year this time to view the meteor shower again.

Obviously, I'm not determined enough. Else, I would have camped outside like many others waiting for the shower. :)


@xiaocangshu,
Eh? Wouldn't it be a more manageable time for you to view them, given the time difference?

Cashmere said...

Well, I had no luck either.. It was super cloudy when I looked up. The sky are all red. What luck huh? Never seen one before. Hopefully I'll get to see one before I die.

C K said...

@Cashmere,
No big deal really for it comes round in Aug every year. Try viewing it at a place with low ambient light.

What about somewhere in Sentosa? :)