Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Not a "morning person?" Watch someone else's meteor shower.
  (+7, -1)
(+7, -1)
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Waugsqueke has informed us that the optimal viewing time for the upcoming Leonid shower is 5:09 a.m. Sunday morning for the U.S. east coast. Some may find it hard to get out of bed early enough to get to a viewing spot at the appointed time. So, like the "sunset cam" idea, let's rig up a network of wide-angled web cams all over the world and point them at the sky on Saturday night/Sunday morning, and feed them all to a web site that will show the best view of the storm at any given time.

So if waugsqueke oversleeps, he can tune in over coffee to view Alaska's or Hawaii's storm, and keep watching for several hours as the view moves to (outside of) Seoul, Tokyo, Hong Kong, etc. If he awakes in time, but cloud cover is oppressive, he can view the storm from somewhere outside of Atlanta.

Okay, I know that a big part of the thrill is seeing it in person and having one's perspective broadened and one's soul lifted by the communion with the cosmos. And the view from a computer screen would not be the same anyway. So I'm not really all that serious about the above. It's just something to think about.

But you know what really *would* be cool? If we had that satellite "Earth-Cam" that Al Gore wanted, I'd want to shift it to the night side of Earth for meteor showers and watch them from above.

beauxeault, Nov 15 2001

NASA broadcasts live video... http://www.nasa.gov
...but their video feed is from only one location [beauxeault, Nov 15 2001, last modified Oct 17 2004]


Could this be shown on big screens in cafes over here? 5.09 am on the US Eastern Seaboard will be 11.09am in the UK - I'll happily go have a tall almond latte and watch the stateside shower.
lewisgirl, Nov 15 2001

       Sounds good. I know that, had I not been able to attend the total eclipse in 1999 (an experience which I will never, ever forget), I would have appreciated good live video of it. I also know that it would have been nowhere near as good, but this is less of an issue for the Leonid shower.
angel, Nov 15 2001

       [Momentary thrill of anticipation as I saw the title and then saw that the only HalfBaker I know to actually have a webcam had croissanted it. Then I read the idea...]
hippo, Nov 15 2001


I saw the 99 eclipse too. V cool. Thought about going to Angola for this year's, but didn't.
lewisgirl, Nov 15 2001

       I think before such a camera I'd need a device to remove all light spillage from street-lighting and houses and industrial lighting.
pottedstu, Nov 15 2001

       go forth and post it.
lewisgirl, Nov 16 2001

       The advantage of seeing the metoroid showers by video is that you won't be blinded and therefore become prone to being herded by giant ambulatory plants for food ...
Aristotle, Nov 16 2001

       I *hate* it when that happens.
(A classic novel, one of many by that author.)
angel, Nov 16 2001

       From the 'While You're in the Backyard Looking Up You'll Miss This' department:   

       Computer screen saver (or after-hours TV screen test pattern) that lets you approach Earth over and over again at meteoric speed. Sometimes you buzz right on by, sometimes not. Can be calibrated to mirror (?) the density of the actual interplanetary cloud on approach to Earth.
reensure, Nov 16 2001

       reensure: That would be cool.
beauxeault, Nov 16 2001

       Someone once produced, in the 80s, a galatic map game for the Mac where you could blast off from the solar system and explore imagined planets turning around actual stars. The fun thing was that you could get lost and not be able to find your way back to Earth, which gave quite an interesting angle on the subject of astronavigation.
Aristotle, Nov 17 2001

       The reason they look like shooting stars is that they're shooting stars.   

       And no, they wouldn't show up on a camera. They're cool, though the mosquitos were a pain.
StarChaser, Nov 18 2001

       From the comfort of a sand chair on asphalt in apartment buildings 12 car parking lot; in as many minutes, I saw 50 tinkerbelles flinging pixie dust. Hey Peter, whatever became of that Sunset Cam?
thumbwax, Nov 18 2001

       Actually, I heard on the news last night that NASA planned to have a live video feed available on their web site. I didn't check it out, though, since I was busy watching the real thing. Over 200 sighted in 45 minutes, despite skies dimmed by forest fire smoke.
beauxeault, Nov 18 2001

       <grumbles at the only place he could get to to watch the darn things was under a streetlight. Only saw 20 or 30, and that was in an hour. One of them went out in a huge flash, though...>
StarChaser, Nov 18 2001


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