This year's episode of the grand meteor shower the Leonids will peak on Monday morning before dawn. The meteors are bits of debris dropping off the comet Tempel-Tuttle that intersects Earth's orbit every November. Unfortunately, it may be tough to see many shooting stars because activity this year will be low and the waning gibbous moon will shine brightly. Still, it's always fun and meditative to watch the skies. From EarthSky:
image: "A meteor during the peak of the 2009 Leonid Meteor Shower" by Navicore (CC BY 3.0)
In 2019, no matter where you are on Earth – and no matter when you watch, on the morning of the peak itself, or on the morning leading up to the peak – the best hours of the night for meteor-watching will be hindered by the bright moon. Those hours are between midnight and dawn, when Earth’s forward motion through space has carried your part of Earth head-on into the meteor stream.
Also in 2019, there’s really no way to avoid the moon. You’ll have to find a way to work around it. Try observing in a shadow of a large structure (like a barn), or in a mountain shadow. Just try to keep the moon out of view. Let your eyes adjust to the darkness for a period, say, 15 minutes to half an hour. Just wait and watch, don’t expect too much, and see what you see.
We hear lots of reports from people who see meteors from yards, decks, streets and especially highways in and around cities. But the best place to watch a meteor shower is always in the country. Just go far enough from town that glittering stars, the same stars drowned by city lights, begin to pop into view.
This is some pretty amazing and highly rare video — seldom do you get footage of five, count ’em FIVE, California mountain lions all hanging out together. The big cats were captured on home surveillance video, in a rare gathering of the typically solitary critters.
Some extra-planetary Caltech news to take your mind off Earth Reports Caltech: “A rare asteroid orbiting snugly within the inner confines of our solar system has been discovered by Caltech’s Zwicky Transient Facility, or ZTF, a survey camera based at Palomar Observatory. The newfound body, named 2020 AV2, is the first asteroid found to orbit […]
We’ve all got a perfect website in our minds. In the past, the problem has been the barrier of language – specifically, the computer languages used to create those glittering, animation-filled pages you flock to. Now, Mac users have an alternative. Blocs 3 is a website builder that can provide an easy visual interface for […]
You can do all the pre-workout stretching in the world, but that doesn’t mean you’ll escape stiff muscles and nagging pain after a particularly grueling gym session. When those knots and their accompanying aches and soreness start barking, your options usually boil down to either a deep tissue massage or just grinning and bearing it. […]