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Listening to meteor showers October 8, 2012

Posted by aquillam in Astronomy.
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If you are anything like me, getting up in the middle of the night to watch an event that might only generate half a dozen meteors I can see is hard. Really hard. Frankly, if I don’t have insomnia, I’m not going to get up for anything less than a “meteor storm.”

I can still enjoy the meteor shower however, by listening to it. In fact, if the peak occurs during daylight for your location, or if you’re in a bright urban area, listening might be the better option.

To listen for yourself, you’ll need a tunable radio. Tune the radio to a station you don’t really get well. If you have one of those analog radios, tune in the station as best you can. If you have a digital tuner set it to a frequency of a station that’s just out of range. Then, just listen to the static. Meteors will cause a brief burst of clear radio reception.

Of course, radios aren’t always available, or possible (the observatory on Angell Hall does an excellent job of insulating me from RF radiation!) In that case, there are a couple internet radio stations, like spaceweather radio.

If you happen to be a Ham, there are better ways to listen, especially if you have a yagi antenna. You’ll need another station to transmit, again just out of range. If this sounds like a really great weekend project  to you, check out http://www.nasa.gov/offices/meo/outreach/forward_scatter_detail.html.

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Comments»

1. godmadeknown - October 8, 2012

How cool! I had no idea this was even possible.


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