The Meteorwatch begins

Earlier today, the second annual Perseid Twitter Meteorwatch began. Across the world, people are tweeting their glimpses of shooting stars between the clouds, some of which are collated onto the Map. This map not only shows where people have seen meteors, it also appears to show a photo-negative of this map, the infrared satellite image of cloud over the UK.

The night before the official start of the watch saw a number of things, including the unusual sight of clear skies over Kendal (sadly not repeated tonight, so far). Pictures like this came through and videos of passing meteors captured via a webcam and UFOCapture software by meteorwatch organiser @VirtualAstro can be seen below, supplementing the gallery of images and videos from last year.

Media coverage before the event has been far and wide, including the National Trust, Discovery News, the Guardian and Skymania, who also put this image of likely Perseid vectors from the radiant onto twitpic. One company has even offered the chance to win an iPod Touch, by giving them creative and interesting stargazing stories this Perseid period.

On top of this, there are also tangentially relevant blog posts, such as this one from NASA Goddard’s Blueshift Blog, which describes a researcher’s delight at touching part of an asteroid linked to the extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs. Nothing like that should head our way during #meteorwatch, but maybe there’ll be a good fireball or two to light up the skies. Just to end with, from the official meteorwatch youtube channel, here’s one of the meteors from a clearer area of the UK tonight:

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