Posts Tagged ‘watch’


Perseid meteor shower – next 24 hours

August 10, 2011

by tte-77

skywatching Perseid meteor shower

Best view of Perseid meteors could be before dawn 10-11 August

Although the actual peak date of the Perseid meteor shower will be 12-13 August (as mentioned in our August Astronomy Events post) the best time to watch the Perseid meteor shower might actually be today – Wednesday 10 August, during the dawn hours into Thursday.

At their peak, the Perseids commonly produce 50 or more meteors per hour – when the moon is out-of-the-way. This year, however, the full moon will shine from dusk till dawn on the peak night wiping out all but the brightest Perseid meteors. With this in mind working around the moon to optimize the view of the Perseids (summertime’s premier meteor shower) is probably the best call.

The best time will probably come in the next 24 hours dependent on your location.

At mid-northern latitudes in Europe the moon will set between 1am and 2am. The moon’s precise setting time, however, depends on where you reside within your time zone! Checkout the moonrise section at to check what is best for you.

Generally, you see the greatest number of Perseids in the hours before dawn (even on a totally moonless night). Given a dark, open sky away from pesky city lights, you might see 15-20 Perseid meteors per hour.

Although the predawn sky may present the best view of the 2011 Perseid shower, that won’t stop die-hard meteor enthusiasts from watching the Perseids starting now and throughout the weekend!

Good luck!


Watch Atlantis launch live… or will the weather spoil the party?

July 8, 2011

by yaska77

Kennedy Space Center is abuzz with activity as the countdown to the last ever shuttle launch continues.

Inspections had to be carried out after an amazing 50 lightning strikes in 20 minutes battered the KSC, with at least one bolt striking pad 39A where STS-135 Atlantis is being prepared. Thankfully the all clear was given after no damage was found.

A contact at the launch today confirmed NASA have changed their forecast from 40% (two days ago), to only a 30% chance of launch on time.

lightning strike at kennedy space center pad 39A

Lightning strike at pad 39A - Credit: NASA TV

This historic event currently has a lift-off scheduled for Friday 8th July at 11:26 EDT (15:26 GMT/16:26 BST).

We’ve got the NASA TV feed for you below (which will feature launch information in real-time), and we will update our Twitter feed and the blog as and when new developments occur.

Streaming Live video by Ustream

Keep watching this space, Atlantis will fly (eventually!) and we can all watch in awe and wonder at the power and beauty of a space shuttle launch, for the last ever time.

The shuttle program has been one hell of an emotional ride, but this launch will be just that bit more special…

History in the making people.

If you have Google Earth installed you can follow the shuttle from launch to landing via NASA (click here)

To watch NASA TV on the NASA site click here


Watch Soyuz dock with the ISS live!

June 9, 2011

by yaska77

The Soyuz TMA-02M capsule transporting three new members of the Expedition 28 crew to the International Space Station will dock later today at 17:22 EDT (21:22 GMT/ 22:22 BST), and you can watch it live below!

Soyuz-TMA - Credit: NASA

TMA-02M is the 110th flight of a Soyuz spacecraft after the first bearing the name launched in 1967. It is the second flight of the improved Soyuz-TMA-M spacecraft; the first was on 7th October 2010.

The rocket launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 7th June at 22:12 BST. The three person crew, Sergey Volkov, Mike Fossum and Satoshi Furukawa will join fellow Expedition 28 crew members Ron Garan, Alexander Samokutyaev and Andrey Borisenko, who have been living and working at the space station since early April.

Live TV : Ustream

NASA TV docking coverage begins at 16:30 EDT (20:30 GMT/ 21:30 BST), so enjoy above or click here to view externally!


Watch Endeavour landing live! – NASA TV

May 31, 2011

by yaska77

The iconic space shuttle Endeavour (STS-134) is soon to begin her final approach for re-entry and landing, due for touchdown at Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 02:35 EDT (06:35 GMT/ 07:35 BST) Wednesday 1st June.  NASA TV will be following the landing so watch below or click here for the direct feed!

Free Videos by Ustream.TV

The de-orbit burn is scheduled for 01:29 EDT (05:29 GMT/ 06:29 BST) and footage will continue through landing and after. The post-landing news conference is usually around 2 hours after touchdown, and repeats will be screened throughout the morning.

As the penultimate shuttle landing ever this is an historic event.  The final shuttle mission (STS-135) is currently a go for launch on 8th July, and Atlantis is leaving the VAB (Vehicle Assembly Building) to travel to launchpad 39a this evening atop the massive “Crawler“.

Atlantis on top of "The Crawler" (STS-117) - Credit: NASA (Click to enlarge)

When decommissioned Endeavour will be placed in the California Science Center in Los Angeles on permanent display.

Endeavour facts:

  • Named after the ship commanded by British explorer James Cook from 1769 to 1771
  • Endeavour was the last orbiter built and flew its maiden voyage on 7th May 1992
  • Made the first American ISS construction flight, delivering the Unity Module
  • Carried out the mission to correct the Hubble Space Telescope’s flawed vision
  • Its radar map of the planet is one of the most used Earth-observation data-sets ever acquired
  • Total space time before its final mission: 280 days; Total Earth orbits: 4,429; Individual crew members: 133

NASA clears Endeavour heat shield for re-entry – Watch EVA 2 Live

May 21, 2011

by yaska77

During todays Mission Management Meeting (MMT) NASA confirmed all damaged tiles had been cleared as safe for re-entry. Data provided by an earlier focused inspection (which included laser scanning) showed the gouge to be only 0.89 inches deep.

One heat tile had raised concerns and needed a closer inspection using the Orbiter Boom Sensor System - Credit: NASA

The maximum temperature the underlying structure of the orbiter should experience during re-entry is 219 degrees, well within the tolerance limit of 350 degrees.

STS-134 Mission Specialists Drew Feustel, Mike Fincke and Greg Chamitoff then worked for about two hours to prepare tools for the next EVA (Spacewalk). Feustel and Fincke are now spending the night in the reduced pressure of the station’s “Quest” airlock, which will reduce the nitrogen content of their blood and reduce the possibility of nitrogen narcosis in the low pressure of the spacesuits.

Live TV : Ustream

EVA 2 is due to begin at 02:16 EDT (06:16 GMT/07:16 BST) and will be covered live on NASA TV, lasting about six and a half hours.  Watch above or click the link below to go direct to the site!

Click to visit NASA TV

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