Search found 770 matches

by Alastair McBeath
Sun Jul 12, 2020 3:23 pm
Forum: Observing
Topic: C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) 10/11 July 2020
Replies: 22
Views: 466

Re: C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) 10/11 July 2020

Great to see others here have managed to spot and image this comet, in what's been a dismal summer so far (here in NE England, at least). I finally got a clear night, first in three weeks, on July 11-12. Checking the sky for noctilucent clouds at 00:15 UT, and BANG! Yes, there's some weak NLC, but T...
by Alastair McBeath
Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:56 pm
Forum: Observing
Topic: Major UK fireball, 2017 Dec 31, 17:30-17:35 UT
Replies: 0
Views: 1744

Major UK fireball, 2017 Dec 31, 17:30-17:35 UT

Reports have been pouring in this evening following a brilliant fireball seen and imaged from across the UK around 17:30-17:35 UT. Early estimates suggest the timing was probably close to 17:33-17:34, but there is, as so often with many casual sightings, a lot of scatter in the initial data. This pa...
by Alastair McBeath
Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:56 pm
Forum: Observing
Topic: Geminids 2017
Replies: 5
Views: 2762

Re: Geminids 2017

Thanks Jeff. Sorry for the slow response. My home router died quietly last weekend and I've only just got back online with a new one tonight. The Geminids usually put on a similarly good display year on year, and have done for a long time, so are almost certainly the most reliable, strongest, annual...
by Alastair McBeath
Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:39 pm
Forum: Observing
Topic: Geminids 2017
Replies: 5
Views: 2762

Re: Geminids 2017

Glad to know you'd had some luck with the Geminids, Jeff. Here in NE England, Dec 13-14 proved to be a grand night, despite a withering, icy wind at times. I managed three hours of meteor observing then, scattered between 22:39 and 02:46 UT under mostly clear skies, with a limiting magnitude around ...
by Alastair McBeath
Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:27 pm
Forum: General chat
Topic: JAS "Podcasts" from 1966 and 1968
Replies: 1
Views: 1556

JAS "Podcasts" from 1966 and 1968

In case you didn't spot this, the SPA Twitter feed on the Society homepage showed today (2017 March 11) that three old reel-to-reel tape recordings of an experimental audio magazine about astronomy, two from 1966, the third from 1968, had just been added to Soundcloud, as "The Sound of Astronomy" Is...
by Alastair McBeath
Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:39 pm
Forum: General chat
Topic: Astronomical monthly magazines
Replies: 21
Views: 6295

Re: Astronomical monthly magazines

Cliff, Brian & others: The £5 price-tag is about average for news-stand hobby magazines more generally these days - say 50p or so either side of that overall. The cheaper options generally tend to have more advertising, but this has been the case for many decades now. Prices will almost certainly be...
by Alastair McBeath
Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:19 pm
Forum: Observing
Topic: Penumbral Lunar Eclipse
Replies: 9
Views: 3220

Re: Penumbral Lunar Eclipse

Yep, the Moon was totally eclipsed from NE England too - by the standard February overcast...
by Alastair McBeath
Sat Jan 28, 2017 8:30 pm
Forum: General chat
Topic: Bright Iridium Flares soon to be thing of the past
Replies: 5
Views: 2333

Re: Bright Iridium Flares soon to be thing of the past

The Iridium satellites were a serious problem for meteor imagers from day one. Unless you'd observed the flare, you couldn't tell if it had been a bright meteor or not on the photo. The online predictions eventually helped, but by the sound, those won't be of much use once the junked satellites star...
by Alastair McBeath
Tue Jan 24, 2017 7:58 pm
Forum: General chat
Topic: At the Earth's core
Replies: 13
Views: 4070

Re: At the Earth's core

Cliff: The double-sided OS maps do at least let you feel you're getting your money's worth though! I tend to agree, as they're beasts to use indoors alone; outdoors and they become unworkable. As for the apparently more detailed modern OS maps, actually, very large-scale OS maps go back to the 19th ...
by Alastair McBeath
Mon Jan 23, 2017 7:58 pm
Forum: General chat
Topic: At the Earth's core
Replies: 13
Views: 4070

Re: At the Earth's core

...Incidentally regarding the NASA quip about about a magnetic flip being good for compass manufacturers, I disagree with that. Possibly all an old compass owner needs do is just remember the compass pointer colour is a different way round - or is it more complicated than that. (Just vaguely rememb...
by Alastair McBeath
Sun Jan 22, 2017 8:19 pm
Forum: Observing
Topic: Fireball
Replies: 6
Views: 2671

Re: Fireball

Tracie Heywood has added some fresh details on this meteor to the Meteor Section Reports page for the 2017 January fireballs that I noted in my initial posting here. The analysis so far suggests the object may have started over the southern Irish Sea, and headed south from there to end to the west o...
by Alastair McBeath
Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:46 pm
Forum: Observing
Topic: Fireball
Replies: 6
Views: 2671

Re: Fireball

How is it possible to differentiate between an item of man-made space junk and a natural object burning up in the atmosphere? Usually by its apparent velocity, as man-made material re-entering from Earth orbit tends to be far slower than even the slowest natural meteors (think of the apparent speed...
by Alastair McBeath
Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:56 pm
Forum: General chat
Topic: At the Earth's core
Replies: 13
Views: 4070

Re: At the Earth's core

Regarding geomagnetic field reversals on Earth, these happen with variable, but quite common, frequencies over geological time (roughly once every 200,000 to 300,000 years during the past twenty million years or so). There's no evidence linking them with extinctions. This Wikipedia page has some use...
by Alastair McBeath
Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:25 pm
Forum: Observing
Topic: Fireball
Replies: 6
Views: 2671

Re: Fireball

Probably yes, Mike, judging by the notes now online here , although there is some confusion about the timings so far, which might suggest three possible meteors on Jan 19th, one around 07:20 UT, the second around 19:09, and "yours" around 19:28 from the other sightings so far. It's equally possible ...
by Alastair McBeath
Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:45 pm
Forum: General chat
Topic: Why do I lose posts?
Replies: 6
Views: 2379

Re: Why do I lose posts?

This seems to have been a common problem for quite some time, as back when I was still Meteor Director (pre-early 2012), I used to prepare any longer posts well ahead of time offline, then just copy and paste them into the Forum when online. That was because I'd also lost a couple of longer posts I'...