With the creation of the h2g2 University of Life's Department of Astronomy,
Beeline and Jimi X immediately signed up to be Field Researchers. Among their
discussions during the early days of the university project, they talked about
actual science projects online with the h2g2 Community.
One of the first things they discussed was an observing project during the
peak of a
In typical procrastinating fashion, the Monday before the peak of the
Perseids Meteor Shower,
Beeline mentioned that if a project was going to be done for the Perseids, they
had best begin.
They wrote up a page explaining the project Here
and began seeking
publicity for the project. First they contacted the Post and Shazz did a great
job writing a short story
explaining the project and getting it in that week's edition of the Post. They
also contacted Peta
to see if they could get some front page publicity. As usual, Peta outdid
herself, securing fabulous
artwork from the art team and getting a front page mention the next day.
With the publicity, the team of Researchers committed to spending some time
outside on either Friday,
11 August, or Saturday, 12 August, had swelled to 16 people.
Then it was just a matter of hoping for clear skies and a good meteor
display. Most Researchers had good
weather on Friday night, but on Saturday night, there was cloud cover from
Britain to Hawaii ruining the results.
For a hastily thrown together project, the results were very good. The h2g2
Researchers saw a total of
220 meteors on Friday night. A total of nine Researchers spent a combined 15
hours watching the skies.
A lot of them saw some exciting fireballs and some good hourly rates.
Galaxy Babe was thrilled with the show:
'I have been watching Perseids for
many years, 2 years ago a
group of us (including my daughter) went to a dark-sky viewing area, all from
the Cleethorpes and District
Astronomy Society. It was her first viewing, and she saw more than me. Up till
Friday that was my best
memory of Perseid watching, now I have seen my first fireball!'
Yeliab Salohcin reported that it was a 'fantastic night...and he discovered
that 'car roofs make good beds!'
It bears noting that this shower suffered from a bright waxing gibbous moon
that made viewing many of
the fainter meteors difficult if not impossible to spot. The next major meteor
shower will occur in mid-November
and if there is enough interest, another observing project is possible.
'I'd like to thank everyone who took the time to go outside and give us their
says Jimi X.
should have done more advanced planning, but things seemed to work out rather
well. I'd especially like to
thanks Peta and the h2g2 Team for their quick work getting us the front page
publicity. As well, Shazz did a
great job with her story in the Post, and she and TowelMaster contributed some
Full details of the project's results can be found at This Site