2006-11-18

The Leonids (and a silly mistake)

Despite what I said yesterday evening, I did get to do some Leonids observing after all.

Late on last night I caught the forecast on the BBC and it said that things would clear up around midnight or so and stay clear into the morning. I then recalled having read an article in the November issue of Sky & Telescope about a predicted burst in activity set for around 04:45UT on the 19th (those quick off the mark will have noticed a problem already).

So, excited at the prospect of getting some meteor observing in and also excited at the prospect of observing a possible outburst of activity, I set my alarm for 04:10.

Despite some reluctance to get out of bed I was finally out and settled by 04:39 and stayed out until 06:00 (by then the sky was starting to get light and the cold was starting to get to me). I had quite an enjoyable time. I counted 9 Leonids in total. I also saw 2 sporadics and quite a few satellites.

And now for the silly mistake (you've seen it already, right?): I came into the office to warm up and to make this entry and then I realised the date. It's the 18th, not the 19th. I went to all the effort of getting out really early to try and observe an event that wouldn't be happening for another 24 hours!

I feel like a total idiot. A cold, over-dressed (hat, two coats, two t-shirts, jumper, two scarves, two pairs of socks, etc...) but very satisfied idiot. But I still feel like a total idiot.

That said, at least I got out and managed to observe something. The weather wasn't good late into the night last night and the forecast isn't that promising for tonight and early tomorrow morning (although, if it changes, and I'm up to it, I might try this again tomorrow).

The session log isn't up yet, I'll be typing that up in the next couple of days.

3 comments:

Jeff said...

Well, at least you got to see some. Who knows, the weather may not be that kind this evening. I think the most Leonids I've ever spotted is about two. Most times, when I've attempted to observe ,the place has been shrouded in either fog or cloud.

I wished I'd made the effort to observe now, as it was clear here at around 2:00am - just too tired though. Ah well, fingers crossed for this evening.

Will Gater said...

I saw a couple Leonids as I was travelling home last night, quite large ones as well. But don't worry we've all been there at some point. I travelled up to Dartmoor one evening to view a Lunar eclipse,set scope up, ready for dark....after about half an hour of complete confusion as to why the Moon was not eclipses...yep, it was only happening the next evening! :-(

Dave Pearson said...

Well, at the moment, the forecast is now looking like it could be fine tomorrow morning. Looks like I might be having an early night tonight.

And, Will, many thanks for your comment. I don't feel like such an idiot now. ;)

Although, for some odd reason, getting the wrong evening sounds much better than getting the wrong morning.