After our July meeting (Saturday 8th July, see previous post), our next meeting is on 5th August at the Burnham Village Hall. In August we will be talking about how we measure the distance to the stars. We will also be discussing our forthcoming winter observing season which will also include details of a simple variable star observation project that all can join in on.
Also in August will be the 3rd Annual East Essex Astronomy Club Perseid meteor watch. In the previous 2 years we have successfully observed the peak of the Perseid meteor shower under clear skies. This year the shower peaks on the night of Saturday 12th - Sunday 13th August. A meteor is simply a speck of space debris about the size of a grain of sand burning up in the Earth's upper atmosphere. The passage of the dust leaves a bright streak behind it in a spectacular natural fireworks display. Meteors are visible on all nights of the year but there are specific times when the Earth passes through dust trails left by comets. The Perseids are such an event and from a natural back ground of 1 - 2 meteors per hour we can see up to 100, bright meteors an hour. Details of location and times will be available here and on our facebook page nearer the time.