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The annual Orionid meteor shower is expected to peak during the weekend night of 2012 OCT 20-21. The waxing crescent Moon will have set before the prime viewing hours between local midnight and dawn when observers will be on the side of the Earth plowing into the meteor stream. The constellation Orion is the radiant, meaning that the meteors’ tails will be pointing back toward Orion. However, the meteors are just as likely to be seen anywhere in the sky.
See my webpage that features a 2009-2018 calendar for the major meteor showers, including global peak predictions and the situations regarding interference from the Moon: www.CurtRenz.com/asteroids
Descriptions and perhaps lucky photos of the meteors would be welcome additions to this thread.
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Oct 21, 2012 10:30:42 GMT -6
Did not see a single one....
I had not planned a long early morning session, only an hour....and not even a tease.
Maria and I hopped on her roof to catch some space rocks under a clear sky. It was chilly - in the 40's, so we bundled in a sleeping bag. I brought along my parabola mirror and thought I would catch a wide expanse of the sky, but it didn't pan out...
The mirror was a full 360 degree piece, but when I got T-boned in the Chevelle, the mirror broke in pieces...
While waiting for space rocks, we were enjoying the early winter markers - Seven sisters, Orion, Auriga and Jupiter embedded in Taurus.
Jupiter shows his satellites with just the 12x Optical zoom on the Canon.
I had the 15x70's set-up and explored the targets throughout the session. The Pleiades always look great in wide-field binos...
The glare from nearby Harrison Park was intense, but Orion punched through despite...
The Orion nebula still was easily seen with all this glare.
After an hour of looking for space rocks ionizing in the air, I called it quits at 12:30 am - quite disappointed at not even the slightest indication of the annual event.
Chicago Astronomer Joe Founder, Administrator and Chief Astronomer
Telescope/Observatory Docent Facilitator Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum
Astronomy Instructor Instituto Del Progresso/IHSCA
Astronomy Program Instructor British International School of Chicago /Lincoln Park Campus
Resident Astronomer Chicago Park District Nature Oasis/Night Out in the Parks/ 606 Trail
Thanks for your fine report, Joe. What’s this about a T-boning?
As stated in my OP, the best times in which to observe a meteor shower are between local midnight and dawn. Local midnight is the moment midway between sunset and sunrise. Keep in mind that during daylight savings time that is closer to 01:00. Last night for Chicago local midnight would have actually been around 00:36. Blame the incumbent politicians for pushing back the date to resume standard time. Elect Curt Renz!
Post by plumberjim on Oct 21, 2012 16:05:06 GMT -6
Got up at 5:30am and caught a couple small ones, one I think was actually from Northern Taurids as was moving towards Orion? Was in Wisconsin for a wedding Saturday night but my passengers were having nothing to do with pulling over on the ride home.
I went to Starved Rock State Park, Utica, with my brother and best friend. We got there very late (around 11 pm). Once we walked out the car we were so amazed..... All these stars above us, so many, we could not believe that! We were thrilled with the sky view. Milky Way was visible! We joined folks from the Chicago Astronomical Society celebrating Astronomy Day. We looked through their huge Dobsonian telescopes. We looked at Jupiter, of course, and his moons. We saw Orion Nebula and it was breath-taking view! Other beautiful items: Pleiades, star clusters, the cluster that looks like an alien (I do not remember it's name..). We saw plenty of meteors, some of them were quicky, some of them long and shiny. It was an amazing, great experience. Just looking at the gazzilion of stars above are heads was fantastic! I told my friend about gathering with Joe by Adler once in a while and she is anxious to come and look at the stars together I'm so happy I can share my passion Because I got there so late, it was way to dark for me to align my telescope. One of the astronomers had 4.5" scope (just like mine) and showed me some beautiful views. It made me so happy and enthusiastic that I will be able to see so much with my scope
It appears that the variety of experiences were due to timing. The Orionids were disappointing this year except for a few brief peaks. The greatest activity appears to have been around dawn in Chicagoland on October 20th. Here's a link to a detailed global summary from the International Meteor Organization: www.imo.net/live/orionids2012/
The next major shower is expected to be the Leonids peaking during the night of November 16-17, especially after midnight. The waxing crescent Moon during the evening should present no problem.
I love Starved Rock! Utica is a great place despite the awful poison ivy rash I contracted after hiking there this summer.
I was on my way to a week-long trip in North Carolina on Satruday night (peak). We were halfway to NC and staying at a bed and breakfast in Greenfield, OH. I picked this spot on purpse because it was dark as ever! And the stars were amazing out there. I set my alarm clock for 5AM, woke up and looked out the window only to see super dense horror move fog covering the street.
I had a few good stargazing/photo sessions once I got to NC but I didn't actually catch many shooting stars, 4 at the most. I only got one small one in my photos. I haven't posted and of the photos yet from the dark sites, I suppose I should!
Last Edit: Nov 5, 2012 13:13:22 GMT -6 by scottmason