I recently got my pilot license. Will meteor showers be enhanced at all for my girlfriend and me in a low-winged Tomahawk airplane, flying 3,000 feet above the ground?

There are several tradeoffs to consider. True, you’ll be 1 kilometer closer to the meteors overhead. But most of them flash into view 80 to 110 km above the ground, so they’ll be hardly any brighter due to closeness alone. You’ll be above some haze and ground-based light pollution and see right down to the horizon, but these advantages may be offset by glare from the plane’s instrument and running lights. And while the Piper Tomahawk offers wide-angle views, there may be losses from reflection and absorption in the cockpit windows. Nice idea, though!

— Roger W. Sinnott


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