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Sharing the Perseids With #Meteorwatch

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the look-at-the-shineys dept.

Social Networks 55

astroengine writes "The Perseid meteor shower is just beginning as the Earth passes through the dusty trail left behind by comet Swift-Tuttle. The meteor count is set to peak on Aug. 12. In a grand social media experiment, a guy (in a shed) located in the south of the UK is restarting #Meteorwatch, a Twitter-based community of shooting star observers. Last year, during the Geminid meteor shower, thousands of 'virtual observers' participated, making this one of the largest astronomy gatherings of its kind. With some new gadgets and a Hollywood-style #Meteorwatch trailer at his disposal, Adrian West is spending many sleepless nights counting meteors with the rest of the world." It's too bad it doesn't get dark until after my kid's bed time. In another year or two, I really am looking forward to exposing him to the Perseids.

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This year is the year (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215282)

We've been living in a place where trees covered our view of the sky, but the apartment we moved into back in April has a PERFECT view of the sky out on the balcony. Looks like it's time to start stocking up on Bawls, peeled carrots, and a new tripod!

Re:This year is the year (1)

Kepesk (1093871) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215618)

It's a good thought, but I highly recommend getting out of town if you can and get away from the city lights. I guarantee that you'll see 10-100 times more meteors.

Re:This year is the year (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215718)

That's where we're lucky...our balcony faces a direction that is an undeveloped forest :-) It's not as good as getting away from everything, but it's better than facing development :-)

Re:This year is the year (1)

Kepesk (1093871) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215770)

Excellent! I'm jealous. I'm going to have to drive 30 miles to see it myself.

Re:This year is the year (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215796)

Who I'm jealous of is my parents...they live in a house on the side of a mountain in North Carolina just outside of Asheville -_-;;

Re:This year is the year (1)

nizo (81281) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215932)

Hopefully it isn't on the south side of a mountain.

black people (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33215284)

what is it with black people and the bus stop? anytime you see a bus stop, there is always a black person there.

i would bet money that if you put a bus stop in the middle of sibera, hundreds of miles from anyone and left it for a few hours, when you return there would be black people in it. stereotypical black people too. there will be an old man holding a bicycle tire on the rim, muttering to himself. there will be a fat black girl on her cellphone talking too loud and shaking her finger while doing the "mmmhmm" thing. lastly there will be a 20-something thug-life wanna-be with bloodshot eyes.

black people and the bus stop, it's a mystery.

MOD PARENT RACIST (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33215340)

The following comment is racist. I am a Black man and am quite offended by this comment. Commander Taco, could we possibly get a -1, Racist moderation?

Re:MOD PARENT RACIST (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33215458)

The following comment is racist.

Am I now obligated to somehow make this comment racist? God I hate Eskimos.

Re:MOD PARENT RACIST (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 4 years ago | (#33222828)

I tried to date an Eskimo. It didn't really work out, she was a frigid bitch who always gave me the cold shoulder.

Re:MOD PARENT RACIST (0, Offtopic)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215568)

There are no black people in Siberia.

Re:MOD PARENT RACIST (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215668)

A "-1 Racist" is not needed; racist remarks are flamebait, and there's already a mod for that. Oh, and by the way, PLEASE STOP FEEDING THE TROLLS.

Re:MOD PARENT RACIST (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33216052)

I am a Black man and am quite offended by this comment

I am a white man, and I am offended by your colour and misuse of the term "racism" by all these little wee sensitivites you might have.

GROW.THE.FUCK.UP. All your life's problems are not there because of colour of skin, but by attitude.

So before you start crying and whining and demanding exclusivities based on your skincolour (I don't hear white people complain about racism, yet they are more often singled out by their colour by "people of other colour", one misstep and there is a "minority group" crying they are treathed unfairly or "racist", while the mention of "racism" when there is not, is as a matter of fact reverse racism!)

Get your fucking head out of your ass and take control over your life.

I know alot of "coloured people" I respect and am close with (some *very* close if you know what I'm saying) but I also know "coloured people" who I loathe equally as "some people with my colour of skin".

Stop playing the sissy whine-card or sit down at a busstop and eat some chukun hating.

Re:MOD PARENT RACIST (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33216148)

You are NOT ALLOWED to disagree with anything someone from a minority group says.

If you do you ARE A RACIST! Now yes I know that is not what racist used to mean but basically now that is exactly what being a racist is.

If you speak truth that is not flattering about someone who is in a minority group that is the new definition of racist.

Really? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33215328)

"It's too bad it gets dark after my kid's bed time" What, do you just tell them about it when they wake up the next morning?

If you were my dad and you pulled that shit I'd call you an asshole and resent you for decades.

Re:Really? (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215922)

I couldn't agree more. What an asinine attitude. How about letting your kid stay up late? It's not going to destroy their life for the next 70 years if you let them stay up late once to see something amazing. You must be an unbearably anal prick to stick so dogmatically to a bed time even in the case of really great experiences. I'm sure when your kid is remembering you at your funeral, he'd rather think back fondly of the time you made him go to sleep "early" rather than the time he stayed up at night with you to learn about and watch the meteor shower with his dad by his side.

Re:Really? (1)

longhairedgnome (610579) | more than 4 years ago | (#33219792)

Something amazing? Meteor showers are rather ho-hum in my opinion. We get several a year, they' can be consistent, it's one of my astronomical effects that we get to enjoy, going to watch the meteor showers is like the FOX News of nature. Broad and general, it is enjoyed by the multitudes for the sake of being a "meteor shower."

Re:Really? (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 4 years ago | (#33220564)

Yes, you and I may feel that way, but we're jaded adults and not little kids.

Hmm? (4, Insightful)

pedantic bore (740196) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215400)

I'd rather see a single shooting star than ten thousand tweets saying "Wow, I just saw one. Did you see it too?"

To each his own, but I don't need social networking to enjoy a meteor shower. A blanket, an empty field far the the city lights, and a couple of friends, and I'm all set.

Re:Hmm? (1)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215548)

A blanket, an empty field far the the city lights, and a couple of friends, and I'm all set.

Shouldn't that be, one special friend? I mean, as long as you brought the blanket...

Re:Hmm? (4, Funny)

aquila.solo (1231830) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215670)

Hey, if GP is lucky enough to have two special friends, who are we to complain? Envy perhaps, but not complain ;-)

Two special friends? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33215942)

Yeah, his left hand AND his right hand.

Re:Two special friends? (1)

longhairedgnome (610579) | more than 4 years ago | (#33219858)

Jesús y Jorge yo!

Re:Two special friends? (1)

pedantic bore (740196) | more than 4 years ago | (#33220006)

Yeah, his left hand AND his right hand.

Yes, he's ambidextrous.

I hadn't realized that this was common knowledge.

Re:Hmm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33215672)

Ah ha ha ha..... I love you guys - this sort of humour is just what makes slash dot so good.

Re:Hmm? (2, Interesting)

Zarquil (187770) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215748)

So would I.

However, we're going to have partly cloudy skies and it's not dark 24 hours a day - at least not where I'm at.

I do spend a lot of time encouraging people to get out there. My kids are older, and it's very special to take them out of the city and looking up at the full panoply of stars. I've seen thousands of meteors myself, but last year I saw dozens of people online who had just seen the first meteor of their lives thanks to our encouragement to go look up.

Seriously - go spend your time watching for them. If you are going to tweet you saw one, don't just say, "I saw one." Post it so that it can be counted and we can do some real science with it. http://meteorwatch.org/meteor-map/ [meteorwatch.org]

Re:Hmm? (-1, Flamebait)

Seumas (6865) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215952)

I'd call it about even. You know what a meteor shower looks like? It looks like the old Windows starfield screensaver, turned sideways and streaking across your field of vision. It's not particularly spectacular or amazing. I'd just as well watch morons losing their shit on Twitter over little white specs flashing across the sky every once in awhile than see the real thing.

Re:Hmm? (1)

strength_of_10_men (967050) | more than 4 years ago | (#33216276)

Isn't firing up your laptop or cell phone to send that "tweet" just going to destroy your night vision? Sure, you're not going to need very long to recover but why ruin the fun?

On a tangent, I'm always surprised that I don't hear anything accompanying a meteor sighting. I'm always waiting for that FWOOSH or some sonic boom but it's eerily silent as the meteor goes streaking by. I guess I'm just too used to the SFX in movies.

Confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33215450)

I'm confused. Isn't it hard to watch the meteors when you are in a shed? It would be much better to tweet from a van.

bed time with daylight? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33215524)

At what time gets dark in your location? (and where it is?). In Argentina you never go to sleep if it is no dark, we don't even dinner until dark. It is very strange for us when going to US and dinner at 7pm, at that time you will not find any restaurant open (well, in hotels and turist places, it may be).

Re:bed time with daylight? (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215784)

Here in the north of Scotland, it gets dark about 10pm. Around the solstice it gets dark around 11:30pm-12am, and is daylight again by about 2:30am.

Re:bed time with daylight? (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#33216244)

Civil twilight here in NE Ohio, USA is 9:01PM, astronomical twilight isn't until 10:17PM. This should be a great year for the Perseids since it is an almost new moon. Unfortunately where I will be tomorrow night it looks like a storm is going to roll in right around dark =( However my kids should get to see them.

is this what we've come to? (5, Insightful)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215536)

"It's to bad that it doesn't get dark until after my kids bed time. In another year or two, I really am looking forward to exposing him to the Perseids."

Seriously? Kid can't stay up late for a meteor shower? No exceptions?

I suppose there's also no cake on his birthday, because you don't allow sweets.

You and your child are missing out. I have fond memories of my mother dragging us out of bed in the middle of the night for a lunar eclipse.

Re:is this what we've come to? (1)

snookerhog (1835110) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215634)

Rest assured, it is not what all of us have come to.

I intend to drag my 4 year old out of bed for this if we can get a good clear night to watch.

he is especially interested since he knows all the words to the the shooting star song on TMBG Here Comes Science [wikipedia.org]

Re:is this what we've come to? (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215970)

I have fond memories of my mother dragging us out of bed in the middle of the night for a lunar eclipse.

Duh, everyone knows eclipses only happen when the sun's out!

Re:is this what we've come to? (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 4 years ago | (#33216006)

Clearly, your mother selfishly deprived you of the beautiful story you could be sharing today about the time when you were six years old and your mother sent you to bed at 8:00pm like every other day of your childhood, rather than dragging you out to see some astronomical event. The important thing is that 30 years later, you not have a story to tell of skywatching at night with your parents who may by then be long passed, but to have a story of how you were in bed by 8:00pm each and every night. Right? :)

Re:is this what we've come to? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33217812)

Wait, what? Did you miss the... I mean... what?

Re:is this what we've come to? (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#33216396)

Ungentle and a little over-the-top, but you make a good point. Even the strictest bedtime regime can make this much allowance.

And, frankly, one of the nicer ways to fall asleep as a child is laying back on the blanket watching the meteors go by.

Meh. (1)

Boawk (525582) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215560)

I'm just going to watch the highly anticipated Taiwanese News Recreation [portlandmercury.com] of the meteor shower.

Exposed to the Perseids? (3, Funny)

Shugart (598491) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215594)

I think you can get arrested for exposing your kids to the perseids!

Re:Exposed to the Perseids? (1)

weicco (645927) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215810)

Heh. Ass translated to Finnish is perse. But what I didn't know was that asses has IDs :)

Was pretty good last night (3, Informative)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215636)

By 12:30 AM I saw 7 good ones in about 30 minutes. Hopefully it will be even better tonight.

Get your kid up and let him watch. So what if he's a little tired at school the next day? Besides, if you explain what's going on and why, he'll probably learn more than he would at school anyway...

Isn't it the school holidays? (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215954)

In most places (well in the northern hemisphere) it's the summer break so there's not even the excuse of having to get up early for school.

Re:Was pretty good last night (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215974)

Get your kid up and let him watch. So what if he's a little tired at school the next day?

At least in the US, most kids aren't going to school in early August.

Re:Was pretty good last night (1)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215992)

Where I live school started last week... But as you say, without that excuse there is no reason not to let him watch.

Re:Was pretty good last night (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33217096)

One of the school districts around here (Denver area) started this week. My kids' school starts next week. Ridiculously early by my thinking (as is the hour at which school starts), but there it is.

That said, I have no problem with pulling my kids out (or letting them sleep in after a late night) for an educational real-world event. Last year they ended up sleeping on the front lawn after falling asleep watching the shower. (Not the darkest sky, but there were plenty of bright Perseids. I also dragged out the old telescope (just a small refractor) and showed them the moons of Jupiter.)

Classic CmdrTaco... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33215976)

It's to bad that it doesn't get dark until after my kids bed time.

I think perhaps one or two of the Perseids may have knocked some of the characters out of that sentence.

Overprotective (1)

ballpoint (192660) | more than 4 years ago | (#33216122)

It's too bad it doesn't get dark until after my kid's bed time

I'm still raving mad at my father that he didn't let me watch the Apollo 11 / Eagle landing because it was past my bed time, in the middle of the summer holiday. I don't know how old your kid is, but missing some sleep is not going to haunt him for life.

BED TIME BE DAMNED (4, Insightful)

moeluv (1785142) | more than 4 years ago | (#33216220)

This falls past my kids' bedtime too, but for things like this it's ok to move bedtime back a bit. Sharing little things like this with kids is a great bonding experience and can encourage a sense of imagination and wonder for science. It's not like you're letting them stay up to watch Disney or some garbage like that.

..A guy (in a shed) located in the south of the UK (1)

Curmudgeonlyoldbloke (850482) | more than 4 years ago | (#33216520)

Bad luck:

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/uk/uk_forecast_weather.html [metoffice.gov.uk]

I've been to the same music festival this weekend for many years, and have always had half an eye on the sky once the music's stopped. Even when it's not cloudy (which it usually is) I've never seen a thing.

Re:..A guy (in a shed) located in the south of the (1)

alanw (1822) | more than 4 years ago | (#33220226)

Cropredy? I might see you there.

night vision (1)

jonpublic (676412) | more than 4 years ago | (#33216602)

Posting after each meteor will kill your night vision, making it harder to see meteors, which is why you are standing out in the dark.

so... are people supposed to post: (1)

eamonman (567383) | more than 4 years ago | (#33217266)

Saw one!

#Meteorwatch channel (1)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 4 years ago | (#33217594)

Which IRC network?

</getoffmylawn>

Great music (1)

alanw (1822) | more than 4 years ago | (#33220244)

But why didn't they get Brian May to play guitar?

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