On the Radar: Meteor shower, flash-mob curfew, custody death
The Perseid meteor shower in 2008.
August 12th, 2011
06:18 AM ET

On the Radar: Meteor shower, flash-mob curfew, custody death

Three things you need to know today.

Meteor shower: The Perseid meteor shower will peak for the year overnight, and NASA wants the viewing to be a shared online experience.

The space agency is hosting a live web chat beginning at 11 p.m. ET and lasting until 5 a.m. ET Saturday. Astronomers Bill Cooke, Danielle Moser and Rhiannon Blaauw from the Marshall Space Flight Center will lead the chat.

While you're chatting, a camera on the Marshall Center in Huntsville, Alabama, will stream pictures of the night sky in search of meteors. NASA says because of a full moon, about 20 to 30 meteors an hour will be visible. Best viewing will be in the northern hemisphere.

The Perseids come from dust and debris left behind the Swift-Tuttle comet. Every August, Earth passes through the comet's debris cloud, and the meteors visible are bits of that debris burning up in the atmosphere.

Flash mobs: Youths in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, face earlier curfews Friday and Saturday nights in response to recent flash-mob violence in the city.

Minors under the age of 18 must not be on streets in Philadelphia's City Center and University City districts after 9 p.m. In other areas of the city, the curfew remains 10 p.m. for those under 13 and midnight for those under 18.

Violators will be taken home or to police stations and face fines of $100 to $300, Philadelphia police say. Parents of violators will receive a warning for a first offense and could be fined up to $500 for a subsequent offense.

A "flash mob"  is a group of people who decide to gather at a given place after organizing via e-mail and social media. The city blames the flash mobs for several assaults by teens on residents in recent weeks. The beatings have left people badly injured.

Police custody death: In a growing controversy over the death of a homeless man during an arrest, a city council in Southern California will meet Friday to decide whether to hire a consultant to review its police department.

Kelly Thomas died last month after what the prosecutor called "a violent and desperate struggle" with police officers in Fullerton.

The Orange County District Attorney and the FBI are investigating the incident, with the latter looking at civil rights violations.

The death of Thomas, a schizophrenic, has led to temporary changes at the local police department.

Police Chief Michael Sellers took a paid medical leave this week amid a call for his resignation from at least one council member.

Six Fullerton police officers allegedly involved in the "in-custody death" of Thomas have been placed on paid administrative leave, city officials said

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Filed under: California • Crime • NASA • On the Radar • Pennsylvania • Space
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. banasy©

    @I think:

    Your answer was best.

    August 12, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  2. Abigail Bellamy

    It's been a great year for meteor showers, moonlight and all. I observed the Perseids two years ago and it was amazing! I've found great viewing information on this site: http://www.spacedex.com/perseids – Hope you all enjoy the show!

    August 12, 2011 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  3. banasy©

    raven, sista!
    I'm going camping later, and we'll be able to see the shooting stars really well where we're going.
    And I wish upon the first one, too...

    August 12, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  4. gung hoe

    99*9 percent of police do their jobs and without them our society would really be messed up am i saying ive never been to jail nope but i deserved it And meteor showers are cool

    August 12, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. john

    @ghost: yeah cops are going around harassing innocent people all the time(he says with a laugh). And OJ's still innocent. Hah.

    August 12, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. fernace

    Hey Y'all, fernace here! I see y'all were on so much earlier, but hey anyway! It's almost 2am in my fair ATx. city, a very calm town with alot of cops, but not many who mess with you unless you act weird,crazed,doped up or lost! About to go outside & meet RuffNutts "aliens"! I'll tell them "hey" from ya Ruffie, OK!? Have a great week-end, all, Hasta!!

    August 13, 2011 at 3:04 am | Report abuse |
  7. joe

    forget about the meteor shower what about planet x you know what i am talking about let the public know.

    August 14, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  8. TERROR ALERT

    YES , WE CAN...YES , WE CAN...WE WILL WIN IN WAR ON TERROR (30 whities or what are terrorists will never come back alive...thank you lord....aaamen).

    What do you mean tragedy! It was just a birthday present for planet apes president !!! That's all ! Feels great to flip hamburgers and hip hop atop of good news...makes you feel vibrant and energized !!!

    ARIZONA = UTOYA = GOVERNMENT‘S "AFTERLIFE" CASH & $$ FLASH MOB (there was no shooting in Utoya or Arizona, but instead tear gas and on faces of multiculturalism maniacs while calling you a terrorists) !!! stateofterror.blogspot.com/ or stateofterror.wordpress.com/

    OBAMA = STALIN = BUSH or USA = SOVIET UNION
    avsecbostjan.blogspot.com/ or avsecbostjan.wordpress.com/

    Whitie is fighting war on terrorism just to come home and be pronounced as terrorist...turned in Timothy, jobless, homeless ...YESSS, WE CAN...YESSS, WE CAN...GABBY OPENED HER EYES (Obaminator’s psychotic speech in Tucson = failed “Apocalypse Now“)

    TEARS WON'T DO YOU ANY GOOD !!! AS BUSH STATED "THAT'S WHAT THEY ARE PAID FOR"(to die ) !!

    Don't worry O(s)bama, you have just saved USA what is lots of Dollars in your DEBT DEALS(DEAD AND ILL) as those best of America or Navy Seals would also grew older and then you already know how it goes !!!

    August 14, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. malasangre

    blib blab bloop?

    August 16, 2011 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  10. Not me

    this is a pretty cool article

    August 16, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Al

    The photo shown is NOT a meteor shower. It is a time-lapse photo of the night sky.

    August 16, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
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