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Meteor Alert

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Shooting star
"Shooting stars. This electrical [sic] phenomenon was observed on Wednesday morning last at Richmond and its vicinity, in a manner that alarmed many, and astonished every person that beheld it. From one until three in the morning, those starry meteors seemed to fall from every point in the heavens, in such numbers as to resemble a shower of sky rockets..." [ref]

METEOR ALERT: Earth is about to pass through the dusty tail of Comet Thatcher, and this will cause the annual Lyrid meteor shower. Forecasters expect the shower to peak on April 22nd, producing about 10 meteors per hour--modest, but pretty. The best time to look is during the hours before sunrise on Saturday morning. Go to a dark site away from city lights, if possible.

The Moon will also encounter the comet's tail on April 22nd, which raises an interesting possibility: Amateur astronomers may be able to spot flashes of light on the Moon when comet debris hits the lunar surface and explodes. All that's required is a backyard telescope and lots of patience.

Visit for details, sky maps and observing tips.

Note: This is a Northern Hemisphere shower. South of the equator, observers will see very few Lyrids. Southerners are, however, in an excellent position to observe Lyrid impacts on the Moon. The Moon rises high in southern skies on April 22nd, in plain view of backyard telescopes.

credit: more: I want the full story.


Monday, April 3, 2006

On May 19 & 20, please join the USGS Astrogeology Research Program for this years "Spotlight on the Stars," held by the Prescott Astronomy Club at Watson Lake Park in Prescott. The park is located 4-miles north of downtown Prescott on Highway 89.

There will be camping for those with tents, RVs and campers. Participants will be treated to free astronomy talks, festival activities, exhibits, hands-on activities, great science talks, food, Country Music, and more. The USGS Astrogeology Research Program will be among the exhibitors and speakers, which include several space science and astronomy organizations from throughout Arizona.

Bring your telescope along, if you have one, (some will be provided), and participate in the PM BIG PUBLIC STAR PARTY!

There is so much to do that I can't tell it all.

If you'd like to know more information about the May 19 & 20 events, camping arrangements and what will be available, a schedule of events, more information on those who are providing exhibits, or to find a map on how to get there, follow the star.Star