Perseid Meteor Shower *TONIGHT*

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k9rzz

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I'll have one radio parked on a clear FM channel and another on a clear weather radio frequency, both being recorded on a computer to see what kind of meteor skip I can hear. I'll just use low dipoles to minimize any tropo enhancement and maximize signals coming from space. I hope to get something cool !

Will also take a crack at taking some pictures with my digital camera. That would be a first for me.

More info from Space.Com:


Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks Tuesday Morning
By Robert Roy Britt
Senior Science Writer
posted: 11 August 2008
09:26 am ET

The annual Perseid meteor shower is expected to put on a good display of shooting stars in the pre-dawn hours Tuesday.

The best views will be from rural locations away from light pollution, where up to 60 meteors per hour could be seen, weather permitting. Urban and suburban skywatchers can expect far fewer.

The Perseids are bits of debris left by comet Swift-Tuttle.The debris is like a river of small particles in space, and each year, Earth passes through it. As the bits zoom through our atmosphere at 37 miles per second (60 kps) they vaporize, creating the brilliant streaks of light. Most of the meteors are no larger than a grain of sand.

The shower is typically best between midnight and dawn, when the side of Earth you are standing on is plowing into the stream as our planet plunges through space in its orbit around the sun. It's similar to how bugs hit the windshield of a moving car but rarely smack into the rear bumper.

The annual shower begins as a trickle in mid-July and will continue to spark a handful of shooting stars for several nights to come. But Earth passes through the densest part of the stream Aug. 12 at around 7 a.m. ET (1100 GMT). The moon will set around 1:30 a.m. local time (regardless of your location), leaving the sky dark for a few hours of optimal meteor watching across much of North America.

"There should be plenty of meteors -- perhaps one or two every minute," said Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center. Cooke said the brightest Perseids can be seen from a city, but the majority are too faint and are visible only from rural locations.

Meteor watching is easy.

* Find the darkest location you can, away from porch lights and other lighting.
* Use a blanket or lounge chair to lie back and scan as much of the sky as possible.
* Allow 15 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the darkness.

Binoculars and telescopes are of no use, as the meteors move too swiftly.

Expect the shooting stars to arrive in groups. While scientists forecast 1 per minute during peak hours, the pace in fact tends to be higher for brief periods with relative droughts in between. Patience is truly a virtue. The best time to watch, regardless of your location, is from 2 a.m. to dawn local time, but the best seats will be in the western half of North America where dark skies coincide with the peak activity.

The Perseids get their name from the constellation Perseus, from which they tend to emanate like spokes from the hub of a wheel. The meteors can make their appearance anywhere in the sky, however.

Perseus rises in the northeast around 9 a.m. local time. So Monday evening, avid skywatchers will head out after 9 p.m. in search of early Perseids that tend to fly along the horizon. These earthgrazers, as they are called, are rare but rewarding sights.
 

k9rzz

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I almost forgot! If you have a general coverage VHF radio with USB, check the TV carrier frequencies:

CH 2: 55.240/55.250/55.260

CH 3: 61.240/61.250/61.260

CH4: 67.240/67.250/67.260

CH5: 77.240/77.250/77.260

CH 6: 83.240/83.250/83.260

The high power TV stations pump their 100KW signals out at the horizon and make a great source for meteor pings. Channels 2 and 3 are best. For example, you can hear hundreds of pings every morning on 55.240 USB , but with the meteor shower, it should be 10 times that. Best results in the early morning, and if you've got a 6 meter antenna, use that to listen with.

If you can, DO IT NOW since digital TV won't have carriers and this source of meteor DXing will be EXTINCT FOREVER !!
 

Shortwavewave

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Nice info, I dont usally check meteor showers, but 60per hour seems like alot.

Think Ill go somewhere and chech this out, good thing I slept awhile, and dont have to work.

SO what hrs can I expect dx?
 

k9rzz

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Probably 2am to 9am would be best.

I'm starting my recording now and jumping in the car to see if I can find some clear sky to shoot pictures (not likely).

Will report back later this morning.

Good DX !
 

eorange

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Thanks for the info, although I missed your TV post. I was out 3:30am - 4:00am or so. I was only checking for 2m. A couple of times my 144-148 search was interrupted by loud static pops on various freqs, so I'm wondering if that was it...?

I did hear repeater skip on 147.57. It was constant so I'm not sure if it was meteor related. There were 3 hams having a QSO with heavy English (EU) or Australian accents. I couldn't pick out the call signs.

I found 2 repeaters in Canada on 147.57 on artscipub.com: one in Peace River, Alberta, and one in Barrie, Ontario.
 

k9rzz

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Just rolled in from taking pictures. Saw 25 pretty good ones over about 3 hours. One was a Blue Whizzer with chunks falling off of it - YEAH! Still have the computer recording 107.1. Will let that run until 9am, then go over it. Lots of tropo from across Lake Michigan that might cover up some burns though.

Will post any loggings that I may have caught. Lots of fun though!

From Harrington Beach State Park ... right on the beach looking over the water of Lake Michigan to the east. Bank of clouds on the horizon with meteor streaking down through the constellation Orion.

 

Shortwavewave

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I couldnt watch anything.........ONE WORD....CLOUDS:mad:

All week I wish for rain, then where I dont want rain, it comes.

I hadnt picked up anything on FM yet, but the 55.25 has been strange, as well as audio on 59.75 on my R75 which I never hear anything there.

Nice picture!
 
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texasemt13

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very good amateur picture of the Trapezium located below Orion's belt, near M42, M43...

k9rzz can you give any approx. coordinates and maybe the general direction you were facing... (or you could just give me the time and I could figure it all out in reverse... but this would be easier)?
 

kb2vxa

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I have worked meteor scatter on 6M SSB, a typical burn lasts only long enough to exchange callsigns which is sufficient for QSL while a good one can last up to about a minute which is enough for 2 or maybe 3 contacts. Durations are far shorter on 2M where hams much prefer WSJT, extremely high speed machine generated CW. I've never heard of anyone using FM being it's an extremely power hungry mode and signals are rather weak as it is, that's why meteor scatter is considered one of the weak signal modes. That's why a good antenna system such as a high gain Yagi array is all important. Frankly I seriously doubt you'll have any luck with a scanner but I wish you well.
 

poltergeisty

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It's amazing how much iron is traveling through the air that merits skip. Would love to find a meteorite on the open. Sure you could buy one one eBay, but it would be a pretty cool to find one just sitting there or buried in the the ground of which it may have been for who knows how many years. Heard that meteors are three times more valuable than gold. Some contain crystals inside. One day I'm taking my cheap metal detector to the desert. :lol: And watch for rattail snakes..
 

kb2vxa

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Rattail snakes? If you find one of those extremely rare species you'll be rich and famous, they're more valuable than gold meteorites.
 

k9rzz

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I have worked meteor scatter on 6M SSB, a typical burn lasts only long enough to exchange callsigns which is sufficient for QSL while a good one can last up to about a minute which is enough for 2 or maybe 3 contacts. Durations are far shorter on 2M where hams much prefer WSJT, extremely high speed machine generated CW. I've never heard of anyone using FM being it's an extremely power hungry mode and signals are rather weak as it is, that's why meteor scatter is considered one of the weak signal modes. That's why a good antenna system such as a high gain Yagi array is all important. Frankly I seriously doubt you'll have any luck with a scanner but I wish you well.
Actually, because the FM broadcasters run such high power, meteor scatter is a very effective mode for DX. Randoms every morning can provide nice loggings. As opposed to 2 meters where you need the gain to get good signal strength, on FM a low gain, low height antenna works best. Some of the hardcore FM DXers use scanners like the Pro2004 or 2006 to good effect.

Read WTFDA.info for some motivation. Some of those boys hear some amazing things!
 

kf8yk

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I did hear repeater skip on 147.57. It was constant so I'm not sure if it was meteor related. There were 3 hams having a QSO with heavy English (EU) or Australian accents. I couldn't pick out the call signs.

I found 2 repeaters in Canada on 147.57 on artscipub.com: one in Peace River, Alberta, and one in Barrie, Ontario.
147.57 is local to you. It's an simplex Echolink node (N8PB-L) in Mentor.

http://www.echolink.org/links.asp?l...el=gridsq&gs=en91&city=&state=&country=US&d=2
 
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