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Posts Tagged "meteors"

Basic Space

How to spot a shooting star this weekend

A Perseid meteor from last year, streaking over the ESO's Very Large Telescope in Chile. Credit: {link url="http://www.eso.org/public/images/potw1033a/"}ESO/S. Guisard{/link}

Wherever you are this weekend, if you get the chance, don’t forget to look up. The Perseid meteor shower was first seen two thousand years ago, and is visible every year from mid July to the end of August. At the peak of the shower, there can be up to 100 or so shooting stars [...]

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Basic Space

They came from Mars

Computer generated image of Mars at daybreak. Credit: {link url="http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/multimedia/gallery/pia14293.html"}NASA/JPL-Caltech{/link}

A glowing fireball descended through the sky over North Africa last July, accompanied by two sonic booms. Observers saw the fireball turn from yellow to green, then split into two parts before one fell to the ground in a valley and the other crashed into a mountain. And then… nothing, for a while. The rocks [...]

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Basic Space

Look up and see the “stars” tonight…

This post in an updated version of one that appeared last year on the previous incarnation of this blog. Once again, by chance, I’m away from the bright lights of the city during a yearly event that is best witnessed in an area with little light pollution and a clear sky. Unfortunately, this year, the [...]

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Observations

Not Just Pretty, Perseid Meteors Hold Key to Clear View of the Heavens

Propagation inside the dome

The Perseids meteor shower, which peaks August 11-12, isn’t just a dazzling celestial show. The annual event also supplies our atmosphere with an essential ingredient for groundbreaking astronomical research. Our atmosphere is turbulent. The turbulence is what makes stars twinkle. Although twinkling stars are lovely to look at, they are a bit of a nuisance [...]

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Observations

California Meteor Broke Speed Record for Atmospheric Entry

Peter Jenniskens at Sutter

Meteor astronomer Peter Jenniskens must move quickly to trap evidence of a fresh meteorite fall. In 2008, a small asteroid roughly three meters across struck Earth’s atmosphere over northern Sudan, producing a brilliant fireball in the sky. The asteroid’s orbit had been tracked before striking Earth, upping the chances that searchers would be able to [...]

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