Fall Astronomy Week on September, 2024: astronomy help needed, please.?
Fall Astronomy Week 2024. Astronomy Day Astronomy Day Headquarters
It could have been the Orionids Meteor shower which is set to peak next week or, substantially less excitingly, some bits of old space 'junk' which are intermittently falling and burning up in the atmosphere (no danger). The International Space Station was also visible tonight, but its unlikely to look blobby. Happy star gazing!
Falling stars, meteorologists, how often would a person see falling stars if they looked every night ? read:?
It depends greatly on many factors. The most important two being the time of night and you "limiting magnitude" (how faint an object you can see, this varies depending on light pollution). Clouds and other atmospheric phenomenon will come into play too. Meteor showers will skew the average a little bit.
From a suburban neighborhood, with moderate light pollution (limiting magnitude around 4.2, on most nights) I can see about 5 or 6 meteors in a few hours, more if I am doing naked eye astronomy, fewer if I am focused mainly on binocular viewing, and essentially none if I am focused on telescopic targets.
On average you will see more per hour after midnight than before (you are facing in the direction of Earth's "leading edge" in its orbit around the Sun at that time), so that comes into play as well.
If you had perfect skies, and a clear view of it all, and were observing from roughly 2:30AM-3:30AM, and just laid back and scanned the entire sky for that hour, I wouldn't be surprised if you could see 10-15 meteors in that hour, on a "non-shower" night.
Fellow astronomers: Weeks on end dealing with cloudy skies?
And on the rare nights that it _is_ clear, it's too damned cold to be out there. At age 66 with arthritis, it now takes an extremely special event to get me outside in the Canadian winter. Most of my observations are naked eye or binoculars, either through my windows or on very brief excursions out into the cold. "Internet astronomy" keeps me going! Five years ago I could tolerate kneeling in the snow observing winter objects, but now I wait until spring (and catch them just before they set) or stay up late in the fall and catch them in the morning hours.