BBC Countryfile last night had a segment on the dark sky park in Northumberland. Well, it certainly was dark: the clouds obscured the night sky when the TV crew arrived.
Instead, they got out some radio astronomy kit and listened to meteors coming in. Personally, I never realised you could do this. Rather amusingly, in showing how small these meteors are, the astronomer sprinkled some dust on the palm of the Countryfile presenter’s hand. “Oh, wow! Is that a meteor?” she said. “No,” he replied, “It’s some ground-up peppercorn…”
The segment starts just after 13 minutes in: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04n92gk/countryfile-northumberland
Thanks for highlighting this, Andy. Quite a nice report, I thought. Amusing that they chose a night when the Moon was almost full! Even if it had been clear, they probably would have struggled to see any faint objects.
Instead, they got out some radio astronomy kit and listened to meteors coming in. Personally, I never realised you could do this.
I didn’t catch the report on TV but I’ve heard lots about those dark skies up there. Would love to experience them some day.
If you like listening to the sky (and Clive isn’t close by with his kit), then you can do so via http://spaceweatherradio.com . The antenna is in New Mexico – just have to imagine you’re there.
“It’s some ground-up peppercorn…”
Now this is really interesting! Now I can actually visualise their size – off to play in my kitchen cupboard…