10.2 Put Some Meteors in Your Meteorology

Thursday, 4 August 2005: 11:00 AM
Diplomat Ballroom (Omni Shoreham Hotel Washington D.C.)
J. Kelly Beatty, Night Sky Magazine, Cambridge, MA

Meteors ("shooting stars") are among the night sky's most captivating phenomena. Yet few people understand what they are, where they come from, or how often they hit the ground. For example, an especially bright meteor seen across southern New England during evening twilight last April caused many startled witnesses to call local authorities -- some even claimed that a plane had plunged into offshore waters. This primer will provide an easy-to-grasp understanding of meteors and meteorites, with emphasis on annual meteor showers such as the Perseids and Leonids. (Special bonus: attend this talk and get a free sample of "simulated meteors" for use during your broadcasts!)

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