Re: (meteorobs) Observations 03/03 04/03 --00

In a message dated 3/6/00 7:47:05 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
leo@nitric.dircon.codot uk writes:

<< I was aware that multiple IMO Star Area counts are better than one area 
 (I've been doing my "homework" using some of the excellent web sites out 
 there on meteors and observing ,IMO and NAMN especially :) .... my main 
 problem lies in the fact that I'm still unfamiliar with the 
 constellations.I'm planning to try and alleviate this problem by getting a 
 printer and taking the star charts in the field with me.Hopefully with this 
 and more *cross-fingers* less cloudy skies than of late, I might be able to 
 return with some more formal data !>>

Getting out under the stars is the ONLY way to learn the constellations. No 
planetarium will be as beneficial. You will need to know them intimately if 
you cloose to start plotting. Even if you don't get that far constellations 
are still important for other aspects of visual astronomy.
 <<Theres one other major problem I've encountered ...I find it almost 
 impossible to record useful meteor data and photograph them at the same 
 time.I guess I'm trying to run before I can walk :)
 Apart from that,I find myself enjoying going out in the field and observing 
 more and more due to the sheer variety of behavior that meteors 
 display,even if it is -4 and my sleeping bag is encrusted in ice! >>

If you want to be a serious meteor observer forget the camera for a while. 
Learn the constellations, pick one or two (at most for a beginner) radiants 
and know exactly where they are on any given night. When you see a meteor 
take a length of cord and line it up where you saw the meteor. This 
determines if the meteor came from your radiant.  Mark the time, meteor 
magnitude and speed, and if it belongs to the shower you know the radiant for.
You'll need at least an hour of observing time for a report. Go to one of 
many sites that carries a blank reporting form, copy it to you H.D.  Fill out 
the report and send it in to NAMN etc...

The biggest people today is that people wants to do EVERYTHING all at once. 
Forget "running", learn to crawl before you learn to walk.   Good luck.

Kevin K
 - people, stay on topic....
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