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Perseid Trip is a Go!

August 10th, 2010 · 1 Comment · Personal

Off to the Adirondacks!

As I planned last month, I’ll be making a trip north to the Adirondack State Park in New York starting tomorrow morning. Unfortunately only one of my friends is able to come, and the weather doesn’t plan on fully cooperating, but given that I plan to make this an annual trip, going up this first year regardless of meteorological conditions is necessary to at least get an idea of what is up there and if this location is indeed suitable for a return trip (hopefully with more people and better conditions) next year.

Speaking of next year, the trip will move closer to the weekend and in 2012 will even fall mostly on the weekend. I also had not considered until now that I really don’t have to schedule the trip to coincide with the shower’s peak schedule – this location is so dark that even going within a week prior to the peak if the shower can produce good results in terms of the amount of meteors seen. I will be sure to keep this in mind next time the peak arrives during the work week.

I will, of course, post a full report upon my return.

Aren’t going? You can still watch!

Don’t worry if you’re not able to make it up to the mountains with me this year. Being stuck in the suburbs doesn’t mean you still can’t catch sight of some Perseids! The storm is expected to be rather good this year, so if you don’t mind waking up early or staying up late, you can still enjoy the show. Here are some important things to remember:

  • Peak viewing times are from 3am until dawn, your local time – this is when the earth is driving straight into the dust cloud. However you can start looking as early as midnight if you’re staying up late rather than waking up early.
  • If you have lots of tall trees nearby, you might want to wait until 3-4am regardless because that’s when the constellation Perseus is high enough in the sky to make more meteors visible above the tree line (or you can do what I do and sit out on your roof earlier in the night)
  • The amount of light pollution will dictate how many meteors per hour you see. Here is the light pollution map for New Jersey, centered on my area. You can get others from this site as well to match wherever you are. I live in a red area, and I can see about 6-8 meteors per hour on a clear night. The numbers will decrease drastically from there the brighter it gets, so keep that in mind. If you live in a white area and can get to a red or better (green, yellow) it would be worth doing so.
  • As always, don’t forget to review my Meteor Watching Tips to make sure you get the best experience possible.

Good luck! I hope you enjoy the show and that conditions in your area are suitable for doing so.

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