Thursday, September 19, 2013

Draconid Meteor Shower A Heads Up



On October 7th and 8th join me at the Stone Barn, Allens Pond Massachusetts Audubon Sanctuary, Dartmouth Massachusetts from 7 PM to 10 PM to observe and/or photograph the first major meteor shower of autumn:  the Draconids.  If you only want to relax and watch the sky and enjoy the shower just bring a chair, dress in warm clothing.  There will be snacks and drinks available.  If you're interested in photographing and trying to capture the meteor shower, as above the same thing applies, along with a steady tripod, a digital camera with a wide-angle lens, an interval timer, unless your camera has it installed, otherwise, a remote release, charged batteries and cards for your camera.  We will be there to help you set up your camera so that you have a chance to capture a meteor.

“Unlike many major showers, the radiant for the Draconids is highest up at nightfall, so it’s best to watch for these meteors as soon as darkness falls, not in the wee hours before dawn. Spend an hour or more under a dark and open sky, lying down and with your feet pointing northward. Oftentimes, this hard-to-predict shower doesn’t offer much more than a handful of languid meteors per hour. But watch out if the Dragon awakes! The Draconid meteor shower produced awesome meteor displays in 1933 and 1946, with thousands of meteors per hour seen in those years. Even two years ago - in October 2011 - people around the globe saw an elevated number of Draconid meteors, despite a bright moon that night. European observers saw over 600 meteors per hour in 2011.
As far as we know, nobody is calling for the Draconid meteor shower to burst into storm in 2013. But you never know for sure with the Draconids, so it’s worth watching out for on the moonless evenings of October 7 and 8. Just keep in mind that meteor showers are notorious for defying predictions, either surpassing or falling shy of expectation. The only way to know for sure is to try to watch the shower.”

Hope to see you at the Stone Barn.

Directions: To Sanctuary Entrance at Stone Barn Farm
From Interstate 195, in Westport, take Exit 10 (Rt 88 South). Follow Route 88 through three lights to intersection with Hixbridge Rd at 4th light. Turn left onto Hixbridge Rd and proceed 1.8 miles to stop sign at Pine Hill Rd and Horseneck Rd. Turn right onto Horseneck Rd. Proceed 3.3 miles to corner with East Horseneck Rd and turn left. Stone Barn Farm entrance will be 0.4 miles further on your right at 786 E. Horseneck Rd.
There is no charge, but registration is required https://www.massaudubon.org/catalog/short_results.php?sanctuary_code=25&selected_page=1