Hello to all our OTAstro list!
My August What's Up is Up on the JPL and NASA websites. It's about
the Perseid Meteor Shower mostly, and is aimed at the general public
- with some good easy to understand graphics aimed at the general
Here is the place where they are archived permanently (this is the
link to bookmark), on the JPL Education page
includes video formats that are useful for astronomy clubs,
classrooms, museums and planetariums, plus this month I added links
to some lunar and meteor educational material - these are aimed at
The best time to view the Perseids will be Monday morning before
dawn, but that's not really convenient for most people. Saturday
night/Sunday Morning will yield many meteors especially after 2 a.m.
, with horizon skimming meteors at midnight, before Perseus rises
very high above the horizon. If you go someplace dark, you'll see
more than you will in the LA Basin, and if you can't get away, just
put some space between you and the light sources - a side of a house
or trees can help some. You will see them everywhere, but if you
mentally trace the shooting stars to their "source" you'll be looking
in the direction of Perseus, in the NE Sky.
Local dark sky spots will be up I-5 at the Templin Highway turnoff,
Mt. Pinos - on Frazier Peak, and up towards Mt. Wilson - but there is
still a lot of LA glow up here. The Desert East of us affords darker
and drier skies.
The Andromeda Society of Yucca Valley hosts a monthly star party at
Joshua Tree National Park's Hidden Valley picnic area Saturday Aug 11
The Pomona Valley Amateur Astronomers will be at JTNP's cottonwood
Springs campground Aug 11. Later on in August, Mojo speaks to the
club's general meeting at Harvey Mudd College on the 31st.
The Peninsula Astronomy club of Northern California will be up at
Glacier Point at Yosemite this weekend - if you could possibly get
up there, it's magical for meteors. Mojo and I will be there the
following weekend with one of our Northern California Astronomy clubs
- the San Jose Astronomical Association. Most weekends, some club is
hosting free star parties for the public at Glacier Point.
If you observe the Perseids and would like to contribute your
observations, here's an ongoing meteor observing program you might be
interested in: http://aurigids.seti.org/
. I'll be participating in
this airborne mission observing the Perseids and Aurigids with the
same group Mojo and I have worked with for almost 10 years counting
the exciting meteor showers.
Oh, and since we'll be at Yosemite on our usual sidewalk astronomy
weekend of the 17th 18th August, check the OTAstro website
for dates and details. I think our usual
group will be in Monrovia without us on Saturday the 18th, but
probably not in Pasadena on the 17th.
Jane and Mojo
Jane Houston Jones
Senior Outreach Specialist, Cassini Program
JPL - 4800 Oak Grove Drive, MS 230-205
Pasadena, CA 91109 818-393-6435
Cassini SOC http://soc.jpl.nasa.gov/index.cfm
What's Up? http://education.jpl.nasa.gov/amateurastronomy/index.html