Ted Pedas “Science at Sea

Joseph M. Rao

Perseid Meteor Shower Cruise - Aug 7-14, 1993 aboard Stella Maris

Joseph M. Rao, senior meteorologist for Compu-Weather, Inc., and leader of many astronomical expeditions, has followed the Perseids from land, air and sea his entire life.

Drawing from this experience, Rao reports that the stage may now be set for what he calls “an unforgettable sky show for favorably situated sky watchers on the night of August 11-12. There is a chance that a very intense ‘storm’ of meteors may appear …the hourly rate of meteors may number in the tens of thousands.”

Rao's enthusiasm for the Perseids is clearly evident in his writings. “All comets are cosmic litterbugs,” he says. When Earth encounters the debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle this summer, it could briefly result in a “…stupendous display, with meteors streaking across the sky by the hundreds or even thousands per minute.”

Although following and predicting the Perseids is his avocation, Rao has made a career of predicting the weather. As a weather forecaster/broadcaster for Compu-Weather, Rao, prepares weather forecasts for the media, utilities, government and aviation as well as for forensic meteorology.

He became the “calculator” for The Farmer's Almanac in 1992, providing astronomical and meteorological calculations for this famous publication. He is the seventh forecasting expert to hold this position since 1818.

Rao also is associated with New York's American Museum of Natural History/Hayden Planetarium, where he is a lecturer and teacher of introductory courses on meteorology and climate.

In addition to writing Your Guide to the Great Solar Eclipse of 1991, Rao also has written feature articles for OMNI, Astronomy and Weatherwise.

A member of the American Meteorological Society, Rao has received the society's Seal of Approval for weathercasting. He also has chaired the Amateur Observers' Society of New York and created a theme program called “The Art of Staragazing” for summer programs.

Rao lead the Perseid observing sessions for passengers sailing on the Stella Maris, Aug 5 - Aug 15, 1993 on our Perseid Meteor Shower Cruise

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E-mail:   Ted Pedas — mpedas@ix.netcom.com