Friday, 15 February 2013

Asteroids and Meteors

After the amazing footage of the meteorite falling in Russia this morning I'd been looking forward to seeing the DA14 asteroid this evening from the well-placed allotment site.
Russia, not Hungerford
We took our flask of coffee, binoculars, camera, sky map and star map Android app along with a little rum and settled in the container at about 7:30 ready for the start of the 'show' at 7:50.
It was a fabulous night for star gazing. Lovely and clear with a newish moon not causing too much light. The DA14 asteroid passed between Earth and some satellites but it's only small so not visible to human eye without at least binoculars.
DA14 asteroid image
The moon looked great through the binoculars and Jupiter was shining brightly. Sadly, finding the planned location of the asteroid wasn't as simple as that. My hands were shaking so much with the chill that I could barely make out the stars of the plough constellation through the binoculars. So, tracking down the star M94 and the asteroid near that was an impossible task!
So, we returned home fairly quickly, just as clouds began to cover the sky. Never mind, we'll stick to going out for the perseids in August when it's warmer and easier to spot!

3 comments:

  1. I'm useless when it comes to star spotting

    ReplyDelete
  2. Heh heh. Have I stumbled onto someone else's blog or into the twilight zone? Has some scientist wondered in? Am I supposed to understand any of the above?

    ReplyDelete

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Belinda