UPDATE: Possible ‘meteor outburst’ visible tonight – here’s when/where to look

11:57 AM: If the sky stays clear – a “legendary meteor shower,” explained here, might be visible tonight. Here’s what West Seattle’s longtime skywatching expert Alice Enevoldsen says:

And some bonus advice added by @WestSeaWx: “Might I add, get as high in elevation as possible w/an unobstructed view.” The absolute highest elevation in West Seattle – the entire city, in fact – is in Myrtle Reservoir Park (35th/Myrtle), though its eastward view is NOT unobstructed. Forecast, meantime, looks clear and cold.

ADDED 4:02 PM: Alice will be out watching and you’re invited to join her:

18 Replies to "UPDATE: Possible 'meteor outburst' visible tonight - here's when/where to look"

  • Jissy November 21, 2019 (12:05 pm)

    Thanks so much for the info, WSB & Alice… we were watching the kp levels last night for a chance to see the northern lights.  Can either Alice or WestSeawx day if Westcrest might be a good spot?  Or Jefferson park?  I have a 10 year old who is jazzed for all this stuff!!  

    • WSB November 21, 2019 (12:39 pm)

      I don’t know if either will respond on this thread (I’ll ask on Twitter) – Westcrest’s high meadow sounds promising to me. As for last night, I would have posted if the aurora had seemed promising but I checked over the course of a couple hours and it didn’t ever get to the level so far as I saw …

      • BlairJ November 22, 2019 (11:03 am)

        There is a spot just below the top of the covered reservoir that is more sheltered from surrounding street lights.  It is just west of the dog park, downhill from the playground zip lines, around a small drainage basin.  That’s where I go to find a relatively dark view of the sky.

    • Alice (Yes, "That Alice") November 21, 2019 (6:58 pm)

      Definitely want a good Eastern horizon. You want to see as far down to the horizon as possible, no hills or trees. You also want to be high up. Jefferson park seems likely, I need to check a couple things, but the preceding advice applies anywhere on the continent.

    • Alice (Yes, "That Alice") November 21, 2019 (7:13 pm)

      Both Jefferson and Westcrest look like good bets, depending on eastern trees.

  • KayK November 21, 2019 (12:40 pm)

    Westcrest seems like it would be good. Great views to the east.

  • Frog November 21, 2019 (1:14 pm)

    I recommend checking the link first.  It includes this:”Unfortunately near and along the West Coast of both the U.S. and Canada, the radiant will be below the horizon, so the number of any visible meteors are likely to be few and far between at the peak (8:50 p.m. PST). “They say the only meteors you would see this far west are those that happen to graze the outer atmosphere, almost passing by the earth but not quite.  Meteors of that sort would appear higher in the sky, making it less urgent to get a perfect view of the south-eastern horizon.Their estimate of the shower ranges from about 25 to 250 meteors total if you could see the “radiant” or point where the meteors seem to come from, which we can’t here in Seattle.  The number of “earth grazers” visible from here would be much lower, perhaps one or two or none.  Though they are said to be long and dramatic when they happen.  A lengthy outing to a dark park might end up disappointing.

    • WSB November 21, 2019 (1:31 pm)

      On the other hand, the story mentions the unpredictability of this shower, so it’s a gamble anyway. Bundle up if you take the chance!

      • Science says low chance November 21, 2019 (1:40 pm)

        A gamble indeed when passes through the debris field, which causes the shooting starts, at time and angle at which the field is below the West Coast horizon. Better sightings will be for those in Brazil or on the Atlantic Ocean.

    • Alice (Yes, "That Alice") November 21, 2019 (7:03 pm)

      Frog,Yes, absolutely, this is a dice roll. Earthgrazers are a definite possibility, and are usually longer-tailed and more sustained than direct meteors, so there is a tradeoff. NASA is predicting it to be not visible over here. Sky and Telescope, EarthSky, and the scientists who made the predictions are giving it the ol’ hand wiggle.This has the potential to be like the Leonids of 2001, so I’m taking the gamble. I’ll be cold, my kids will not get enough sleep and be cranky tomorrow (sorry teachers), but I don’t make a habit of this. This is one where I’m going out anyway. It might be for naught.

  • Yma November 21, 2019 (3:22 pm)

    From what I read, yes – best sightings are in South America or Eastern coast. But if Alice thinks we have a chance of seeing, I’m bundling up & heading outside at 8:45. Hey, if nothing else I can talk to neighbors & share hot cocoa/ mulled wine.

    • Alice (Yes, "That Alice") November 21, 2019 (7:05 pm)

      Yay community!I only call wolf like this occasionally. Usually I’m very circumspect, and tell you there’s a chance but that I’ll be watching from home. I’m going out for this one, cross your fingers for all of us. :)We are definitely not in the prime viewing area, but we’re in the “possible” zone.

  • WSB November 21, 2019 (4:03 pm)

    Added above, an update from Alice, if you want to join her.

  • Wes Cider November 21, 2019 (5:24 pm)

    Were the Northern Lights visible last night?

  • Jissy November 22, 2019 (7:17 am)

    We didn’t end up going out…. any luck?

    • WSB November 22, 2019 (9:22 am)

      Alice tweeted rather wryly that they had a sighting … a frozen dandelion seedhead.

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