Cambridge Astronomical Association
Cambridge Young Astronomers



Perseid Meteor Party
Wednesday 12th August 2020
Start time : 20:00

Speaker : CAA

Star Party


Perseid Meteor Watch

From the comfort of your own home!

Your presenters will be Paul Fellows and Brian Lister

pfellows   blister

The event will be run live by Zoom - see below for how to join.

Paul will open the meeting, presenting from the comfort of his home observatory with a short talk about the plan for the evening and about our aim to observe and record the Perseid Meteors, and share the results

This will be followed, while we await proper darkness for the observing, by a talk "Shooting Stars and Space Rocks" which will talk about the nature and orgins of the meteors which we see in the sky each year at this time.

We will then try to observe the planets Jupiter and Saturn along with their Moons, and a selection of other objects which we can track down using Paul's 14-inch telescope and camera linked into Zoom.

Other observers wishing to contribute are also welcome - talk to Paul beforehand.

With the Moon well out of the way we hope for a good showing.


Timetable and Programme of Events

  • 20:00 : Welcome and presentation of the plan for the evening

  • 20:10 : Talk 'Shooting Stars and Space Rocks'

  • 21:00 : Q & A and chance to get refreshments

  • 21:15 : Observing Session 1 - The Giant Planets

  • 22:00 : Discussion session for a chat and chance to get refreshments

  • 22:15 : Observing Session 2 - Persied Meteor Watch

  • 23:15 : Wrap up session for a chat and to wrap up the evening

and it is all absolutely free with no need to book!

All you will need is a garden chair, a blanket, this star chart a pen and something to press on and a red torch.

Of course if you want to then camera and tripod might let you image a few Meteors.

Meteor Watch Details

To see the meteors Position your chair so you’ve got a view of the largest chunk of sky possible avoiding any lights, northeast is good if you've a choice.

If you haven’t got a garden a window facing roughly in that direction will do, or if you live in Cambridge or other places with lots of lights just look straight up there should be some meteors pass overhead.

If you want to help us collect data, you can just count the meteors or, if you wish, draw their paths on the star chart and jot down the time (nearest minute will do) beside the line you've drawn.

Adding some notes for each is helpful so if you wish you can add things like about brightness, colour, persistent train etc.

For those taking photographs the exposure time will depend on light pollution and weather conditions.

How many meteors will I see?

A good question, predicted numbers on various websites vary wildly from 50-60 per hour, that's because it varies from year to year and it also tends to favour observers in the southern hemisphere.

So it's just a case of fingers crossed!


If you have marked meteors on your chart it would be great if you could scan them, or take a good digital photo of them, and then please email them to Brian

Please make sure you choose a scale for your images that is readable, but not so huge that Brian's email goes into meltdown.

If you are unable to scan your charts, send it by post to

Brian Lister
80 Ramsden Square
Cambridge CB4 2BL

Your report can be as brief as you like e.g. Joe and Matilda Bloggs, Histon 12 meteors seen.

Please include meteor times - so that we can correlate your reports with others since we will have members spread over a wide area of Cambridgeshire and the surrounding counties we may be able to superimpose several flightpaths of the same meteor on a single chart, giving us a good spread of flightpaths.

Lucky Ticket

Everyone who sends Brian results will be allocated a number, so don’t forget to mention all members of the household who took part in the watch, not forgetting CYA members.

The winner will be drawn out of a hat and will be announced in the Newsletter and the prize will be posted to you. You could win £250,000


We would also welcome your comments or anecdotes which will all go into the special edition of Capella, along with photos and charts which you can email in to Paul without worrying about them being too large as we need all the pixels we can get for the newsletter.

Please make sure all your results, articles, etc are in propmpty

This is a Zoom Presentation from the Cambridge Astronomical Association

If you have Zoom installed already then just click Join Event at the right time, or just a few minutes early.

Otherwise, to get Zoom - follow these instructions

About our speaker:

Paul is chairman of the Cambridge Astronomical Society and a keen amateur astronomer having built his first telescope in 1975, he now operates his own private observatory and takes many astronomical images of both deep sky and solar system objects. He studied at Emmanuel College Cambridge, from which he has an MA in Natural Sciences and a post-graduate Diploma in Computer Science. He is an elected Fellow of both the Royal Astronomical Society and the Institute of Engineering and Technology, and RAS Fellow to Cunard line as well as a part-time advisor and board member of a number of software and electronics design companies in the Cambridge area.

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