Meteor Garden

It seems I am gonna miss this one. Just say your wishes for me, lol. It appears there are many astronomical happenings these days. I still have my diary entry of March 25, 1996, I was just a teenager then, posting about my witnessing the "Kayakutake" comet; I can't believe I even sketched it in the journal! Mmhh, was just interested in those comets and celestial things shining for our enjoyment and satisfaction, knowing we might not see them again in our lifetime, lol.

Peter Jenniskens, Ph.D.
Meteor Astronomer, Carl Sagan Center, SETI Institute
SPACE.com Thu Aug 23, 10:30 AM ET

The meteors that are about to rain down in the early morning of September 1, 2007 date from around 4 A.D.. Our latest calculations indicate Earth is about to cross the dust trail of comet Kiess, a comet that takes some 2000 years to complete one orbit around the Sun. The trail is very narrow, so Earth will be hosed by meteoroids for only about an hour and a half. The meteoroids will approach from the direction of the constellation Auriga, the charioteer, in the north-eastern part of the sky, causing a meteor shower called the "Aurigids."

The shower is visible from only part of the world. If you live in the western parts of the USA, Canada and Mexico, including Hawaii and Alaska, you might spot an Aurigid meteor. Plan to step out around 4 A.M. PDT give or take 20 minutes in the early morning, away from city smog, with the Moon behind an obstruction, and with a wide view on the sky. Gaze up at the sky, waiting, and you may spot one of these elusive bits of matter that Comet Kiess lost 2000 years ago.

This is your only chance to see this shower; the dust trail is not going to hit again in our lifetime. If you spot one of those meteors, you may be only the fourth person alive who is known to have seen this meteor shower. In recent times, the shower was spotted in 1994 by two observers and in 1986 by one observer. If you are lucky enough to catch a picture of an Aurigid meteor using your digital camera, you will be the very first to do so. Tips on how to observe meteors and where to report the results can be found at: http://aurigid.seti.org

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