Help NASA count meteors with free Palm software

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NASA has released a program to let you count meteors on any Palm OS PDA. The push comes as the 2002 Leonid meteor shower nears.

The software was actually made last year to help NASA’s own team track the meteors from all over the World. This year they’ve expanded the effort to anyone with a Palm OS PDA.

Here’s how it will work, according to

The device knows the time. Users input location and an estimate of a thing called limiting magnitude, which involves how bright or dim the stars (and meteors) are that can be seen by the observer at the given time and location.

The software then automatically sorts the subsequent tallies into 15-minute bins and calculates a series of hourly rates for these 15-minute periods, as is the custom among serious meteor observers. The program goes further, however, and figures out what would have been observed if sky conditions had been perfect.

With a bright Moon promising to drown out many meteors this year, the program will generate a tally for how many meteors actually streaked through the sky over an observer s head, including those that could not be seen due to moonlight and other light pollution.

To grab the dowload, click here.




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