Mount Palomar, California (IP) - Our science reporter went to Mount Palomar to find out what to expect during the peak of the Perseid meteor shower which will occur after midnight tonight. When he arrived at the observatory campus he was puzzled by the sight of scientists placing five gallon buckets all over the grounds of the observatory.
The 200 inch wide telescope telescope was sold last week on ebay and there is a lot of free space now available on top of Mount Palomar. There must have been 4,000 buckets placed everywhere.
Astronomer Dr. Ebenezer Finootch told visitors that the buckets are being placed on the grounds to catch meteorites which will be falling thicker than flies. They will study some of the meteorites and then they will put them up for sale on ebay.
If you try this at home you have to be sure to put a little water in each bucket so that the hot meteorite won't melt a hole in the bottom of the bucket. If the meteor lands in a bucket without water the melted bucket material will harden onto the sides of the meteorite and then it will become very difficult to clean it off.