Re: BY Obs Jan 3

Date: Sat Jan 03 2009 - 17:23:05 UTC

  • Next message: Kevin Fetter: "now to see what Intelsat 1R will do"

    In a message dated 1/3/2009 12:14:55 PM Eastern  Standard Time, writes:
    No luck with highfly  classifeds last night - I believe this is because I was 
    trying to show them at a  star party for the Quadrantid meteors. Of course, 
    the clouds rolled in before  the  shower...
    I  have to admit, I was rather surprised at this morning's display of  
    Quadrantids.  First, I should note that at the moment we have a rather  extensive 
    Christmas lighting display set up at my house (located in Putnam  Valley, NY).  
    Most of the lights are on timers and automatically  shut-down at around 
    midnight.  I do have a rather long (265-foot) driveway,  along which there are 
    several decorative lanterns lamps which are on sensors (on  at dusk/off at dawn).  
    Usually, to try and maintain dark skies, I unscrew  the bulbs, but during the 
    holiday . . . to add to the festive scene, we let them  come on.  Those of 
    course, then remain on through the rest of the night.  
    Yesterday, I debated whether to get out the ladder and screwdriver, open  
    each lantern and unscrew the bulbs (in anticipation of the Quadrantids).   Well . 
    . . it was cold . . . it was brisk . . . and yeah, I'll admit it, I was  just 
    too damn lazy.  I never really have had any real success with the  "Quads" in 
    the past . . . the Western US were in the favored zone this year . .  . and I 
    suspected that I wouldn't see all that much early this morning.
    I  decided to get out and see what I could see at 5:30 a.m. EST. I figured 
    I'd be  out for 10 or 15 minutes, see a couple and then crawl back to my warm 
    Instead, I was out until 6:25 a.m.  By then, twilight was already  well 
    advanced and there were a few patchy clouds to my north-northeast.   But despite 
    this, every couple of minutes I would see a Quad; most were in the  +1 to +2 
    magnitude range and one was at least 0 mag. and left a nice 3-second  train. 
    After about 15-minutes, I started cursing my stupidity ("You @#$%  idiot!  
    Why didn't you take care of those ^&%$ lantern  lights?!!").  
    I headed to my back yard where it was noticeably  darker (LM = 5.2), but also 
    where the surounding trees cut off more than  50-percent of my sky.  Despite 
    all of this, I still managed to see a total  of 31 Quads in a 55-minute 
    interval.  I'm sure that if I had better  prepared myself I would have seen many 
    more. I should have been happy, but  paradoxically, I was kicking myself as I 
    went back inside. 
    But as  bad as I felt then . . . I do have something to fall back on: On 
    December 19, I  dedicated my Night Sky column at to the Quadrantids, 
    advising readers  to circle January 3 on their calendars.  
    And  yesterday, I posted a reminder.  
    A little while ago, I received a  nice Email (below) from a reader in Oregon 
    who went out with her husband and  apparently also saw a nice show(er).  I 
    hope many others got up and enjoyed  this morning's display as a result of what I 
    had wrote.
    -- joe  r.
    Hello  Joe:  Thanks so much for writing the article published Dec 19th about 
    the  Quadrantids.  My husband and I found the article on the page 
    and  promptly marked our calendars.  It's now the wee hours of January 3rd and  
    we just returned from a 40 minute viewing session outside in 11 degree F.  
    weather.  We own a bed & breakfast in Joseph, Oregon (far northeastern  corner of 
    the state)--in a little town that doesn't have much in the way of  ground 
    scatter lighting.
    The viewing was superb.  Unfortunately we had  no guests in the house to turn 
    it into a "shower party" but the two of us  enjoyed it.  Now, we're thinking 
    about announcing these kinds of events on  our website or blog.  All thanks to 
    your article.
    Heather  Tyreman
    Bronze Antler Bed & Breakfast, Inc.
    Joseph, OR, USA
    tel  541.432.0230
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