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Earth Moon NASA Sun Microsystems Science

Perseid Meteor Shower To Be Hampered By Full Moon 43

An anonymous reader writes "The annual Perseid meteor shower, which is caused by debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle and has been observed for about 2000 years, will be hampered this year by the full moon. The full moon falls on August 13, and is also called 'Grain Moon' or 'Green Corn Moon.' During this time, the moon rises about the same time the sun sets, and sets at about the same time the sun rises. This will create difficulty in viewing the Perseid meteor shower, which peaks on the night of Friday and into the early morning of Aug. 13."
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Perseid Meteor Shower To Be Hampered By Full Moon

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    The shower won't be hampered! Viewing it will.

  • by Gordonjcp ( 186804 ) on Wednesday August 10, 2011 @04:16AM (#37041406) Homepage

    Get an FM broadcast radio with an external aerial socket, and a Yagi antenna such as you would use for fringe area reception. Aim it more or less towards the radiant of the meteor shower, and up at about a 30-40 degree angle. Now tune to a station well out of range, in roughly the direction you're pointing.

    When a meteor burns up in the atmosphere it will leave a trail of ionised particles, which will reflect radio waves. This is called "meteor scatter", and will show up as little "pings" of signal from the distant station that pop up out of the noise for a few seconds.

    Listen carefully, and make a note of the times of the pings so you can plot how frequently they occur. Congratulations, you're doing science.

  • by FrostedWheat ( 172733 ) on Wednesday August 10, 2011 @04:42AM (#37041496)
    The Moon obstructing your view of the Perseids? I can lend you my Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator if you promise not to destroy the Earth.
  • by GrpA ( 691294 ) on Wednesday August 10, 2011 @05:10AM (#37041596)

    Just use a masked image intensifier ( ie, don't look directly at the moon ) and watch the sky through an image intensifier.

    Apart from a 40 degree FOV, you'll also see about a hundred times as many stars and meteors, even on a moonlit night.

    A decent Gen2 or Gen3 image intensifier will suffice. PVS-14's aren't just for the military you know...

    Though a Micro housing with a c-mount objective lens can also be modified later to fit into the eyepiece for improving your telescope too!


  • The headline had me thinking that the moon was going to be intercepting all those meteors. Turns out they meant "Viewing of the Perseid Meteor Shower To Be Hampered By Full Moon"

    If that would have been too long of a headline then perhaps "Full moon will hamper viewing of Perseid Meteor Shower" would have been better

    Same number of words as original headline and much more accurate.

    Who writes these things?

    • The headline had me thinking that the moon was going to be intercepting all those meteors.

      The question is why, when if that was the case then the headline should be "Perseid Meteor Shower to Hit the Fucking Moon!"

      "Hampered" would be an extremely weird word to use in that context, yah?

      Who writes these things?

      People used to natural language communication, who unfortunately assume people reading are the same, rather than attempted pedantic literalists. :)

      After all, a meteor only becomes a meteor when it hits the earth's atmosphere. So a pedantic reading of the headline would immediately suggest that it can't possibly mea

      • Natural language communications? Hamper is a verb which means to hinder or impede. Will the moon be impeding or hindering the shower? Nope. The shower will still be happening in full force. The view of the shower will be hindered or impeded by the moon. Grunts and clicks were once considered natural language, it's too bad we keep regressing when it comes to the spoken or written word.
        • Yes, natural language communication, where literal pedantic interpretations are rarely the correct ones. Where meaning not explicitly spelled out can be implied by sentence structure and context. What our brains are optimized for, rapidly and automatically sifting through various possible interpretations and rejecting them for various reasons. Such as if one interpretation is nonsensical, but another one makes sense, then our brains will conclude that the latter is likely the correct one. For example "Pe

  • The clouds block the moonlight.

  • You know, the post makes it sound like the sunset moonrise conjuction is specific to this moon. But if you think a little, you'll realize it's true for all full moons.
    It's one of the things in litrature that kill me. Moon rise and moon set depend on the phase of the moon. A full moon will rise as the sun sets, and half a moon never will. It's simple geometry.

    Bad editing, anonymous reader.

  • Why is this news?

    Anyone who has any history at all of watching meteor showers knows the problem the moon can be.

    Every reasonable almanac (and their online equivalents) has both full moon dates, and meteor shower peak dates.

    Every full moon rises at approximately sunset. To be full, Sun - Earth - Moon have to make a 180 degree angle.

    So where is the news?


    Note to the owners of slashdot:

    This reader is giving serious consideration to canceling his subscription.

    1. Repetitious stories.

    2. Summaries that are ei

Keep up the good work! But please don't ask me to help.