Meteor Showers

Question of the Day ~September 18, 2013~ Meteor Showers

Lets talk about Meteor Showers!
What are your thoughts about Meteor Showers?
Have you seen Meteor Showers before?
How do you feel about Meteor Showers?
Do you have a story to tell about Meteor Showers? If so please tell us about it.

There is a big difference between meteors and a meteor shower.
Meteors are just rocks in space that hit our atmosphere and burn up.
Most of the ones we see are just pebble size.

I live on a peninsula without street lights, and I walk our dogs late at night (before I go to bed), so most days I see at least one meteor. Between my 15 years living here, and my 17 years of driving boats, I’d guess that I’ve seen around 10,000 meteors.

Meteor showers usually happen when the earth passes through a debris field left by a passing comet. During a shower the number of meteors can increase dramatically.
The most spectacular shower I have seen was in the 1970s. I was sleeping out just in my sleeping bag on a north facing hillside near Kuaotunu on the Coromandel Peninsula, and it was getting close to midnight. We had seen quite a few meteors that evening, mostly one every minute or two, when at about 11:30 the rate suddenly picked up dramatically, and for about 10 minutes it was like a major fireworks show, with at times hundreds of meteors visible at the same time.

Another time when I was out fishing, in broad daylight, I saw a massive meteor, that was so bright it was clearly visible in daylight. I watched it for about 15 seconds, as big chunks calved off the side of it and flared into oblivion.

At a guess I’ve probably observed about 100 showers over the years, though only one that was truly spectacular.

I find them fascinating. Just being able to see how much energy is involved in the speeds of those things.
There is so much information about their makeup in the colour of the trail they leave. It can identify the rough proportions of the major elements present. Bright white indicating mostly magnesium etc.

I am usually gazing skyward looking for them at night.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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