IMPACT (Instrumented Meteorite Project And Coordinated Tracking)


       Fran Ridge
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Updated: 2013 0709

IMPACT MISSIONS 20130810, 20130811, 20130812

With little to no interference from the waxing crescent Moon, on August 10, 11, and 12th,The Lunascan Project imaging team will have its SSI camera and recording system locked on target at a simulated range of 600 miles for up to two hours. This year's Perseid Meteor Shower could be spectacular. The Moon will also be near the planet Saturn in the evening hours, giving a colorful prelude to late-night Perseid show.  

The Lunascan Project normally has two types of missions in the current program: 1) Scanning the Moon in slices and "filming" the terminator while contrast and shadows enhance the imaging, and,  2) the SSI camera locked on target with the DOB Driver II computer over the dark side AND terminator, imaging for meteorite impacts. All the work is recorded at 30 frames per second and with a WWV time dub.

As the Earth hurtles around the Sun at 66,000 mph every year it encounters a few dozen debris fields. The Perseids are encontered on the 10-13th as the Earth strikes the field in the NE sky. These combine with the Delta Aquarid shower to produce the year’s most dazzling display of shooting stars. The Moon, being in the SW, is a perfect target because of the low luminosity phases this time around, but sets early, so the length of the imaging will be between 1-2 hours. Setting times for the Moon are 2136, 2209, and 2246, respectively, for the three nights.

THE PERSEIDS

The Perseid meteor shower is perhaps the most beloved meteor shower of the year for the Northern Hemisphere. The shower builds gradually to a peak, often produces 50 to 100 meteors per hour in a dark sky at the peak, and, for us in the Northern Hemisphere, this shower comes when the weather is warm. The Perseids tend to strengthen in number as late night deepens into midnight, and typically produce the most meteors in the wee hours before dawn. They radiate from a point in the constellation Perseus the Hero, but, as with all meteor shower radiant points, you don’t need to know Perseus to watch the shower; instead, the meteors appear in all parts of the sky. They are typically fast and bright meteors. They frequently leave persistent trains. Every year, you can look for the Perseids around August 10-13. They combine with the Delta Aquarid shower (above) to produce the year’s most dazzling display of shooting stars. In 2013, the Perseid meteors will streak across the short summer nights ­ August 10-13 ­ from late night until dawn, with little to no interference from the waxing crescent moon. Plus the moon will be near the planet Saturn in the evening hours, giving a colorful prelude to late-night Perseid show. Best mornings to look: August 11, 12 and



Francis Ridge
Coordinator, The Lunascan Project
IMPACT