I just want to let everyone know that clear skies are currently forecast for Thursday night when a rare opportunity may present itself to witness a meteor outburst. I plan to go out and use a few different cameras and techniques to photograph the event and anyone who wishes to join me is welcome and even if you can’t join me where I will be at or if you can’t setup a camera anywhere I suggest that you still make an attempt to at least go outside and watch the sky late Thursday night.
For your information a meteor shower is defined as having a visibility rate of up to 100 meteors per hour, a meteor outburst has a rate of between 100 and 1000 and hour, and a meteor storm has a rate of over 1000 an hour. We will have an opportunity if predictions are accurate, to witness an outburst on Thursday night. The Alpha Monocerotid meteor shower which is usually one of the weakest of the year has a small, dense pocket that the earth is likely to pass through that night. If the earth passes through it as predicted there will be a sudden and short outburst of meteors peaking at a rate of well over 100 an hour. The outburst is predicted for 11:50 EST and could last for anywhere from 15 to 40 minutes in duration. It is suggested that you allow an hour of leeway either side of that time for viewing to allow for a margin of error. I plan to arrive and setup some equipment between 10:30 and 11:00 on Thursday to be ready in case the prediction is accurate. I will be setting up on the western edge of one of the large hay fields on Taylor Rd. near Thonotosassa and I expect to stay until approximately 1:00. I am posting a map below showing where I expect to be located. The shoulder is wide and grassy to pull your vehicle off the road and setup. The hay fields themselves beyond the shoulder of the road are private property. Do not drive or walk into the hay fields. I hope to have some company for a while when I’m there so feel free to join me if you wish – Jim S.