Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Top o' the morn' and the Orionids

Lil N had an EARLY doc appt this morning, so I was up early as well. Luckily for me, lil A stayed asleep. I knew that the Orionids (a meteor shower which they suspect is caused by the remants of Halley's comet) were going to be peaking tomorrow, so I knew that the odds of me being able to see something this morning were pretty good since the moon had already set. And... I did. w00t! I also saw a satellite. Yay!

The peak is tomorrow. Orion is high in the SOUTH in the morning. Evening viewing (starting around 11pm) is unfavorable because the full moon is approaching and pretty much washes out the sky. Early morning (4 - 7am) is much more preferred since the moon has mostly set by that point.

The meteor shower has a center that is to the east and up of Orions right shoulder (i.e. you'll be looking to the upper left of Orion.

Here is a fairly simple blog entry which explains where to look and has a nice image so you can see where the meteors should originate from.

Here's the time-line of this morning:
Date: 20-Oct-2010 Wednesday

6:38am - ATLAS 3B R/B -or- NOSS 3-3 Rocket - 3.0 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 2005-004-B
First sighting! This object is an Atlas III-B rocket body. It was used to launch the pair of satellites for NOSS 3-3 (Naval Ocean Surveillance System). The NOSS programs are operated by the U.S. Navy and detect radio transmissions from ships. Because the satellites are either in pairs or triads, they can use the radio detections to pin-point the location of a ship. Of note about this rocket, is that this was the last Atlas III-B (and the last Atlas III altogether) launched.

6:38am - Orionid meteor

6:42am - Orionid meteor

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