Friday, August 13, 2010

Meteors

Last night was the peak night for watching the perseid meteor shower that occurs each August.


I woke up at 2 in the morning, checked the visibility from our backyard and having actually seen a bright meteor shoot past, decided to wake up the boys. We covered ourselves in bug spray and long sleeves and stretched out on a couple of blankets in our tiny back yard. The boys chatted excitedly while looking for meteors.

We spent about 20 minutes in our meteor watching position before I realized that we were facing the wrong direction. The mind does not think as clearly at 2 in the morning!

Unfortunately, we live in a neighborhood with lots of streetlights and ambient light from stores and shopping centers down the road, so we didn't see as many meteors as we probably could have if we lived somewhere more remote. We did manage to see about 4 or 5 of them, though the boys claimed at least twice as many. I either am getting old and my eyesight isn't what it used to be, or the boys were spotting meteors that weren't really "meteors".

Sometime I want to get us all to a place where there is no light pollution so that we can see the stars in the same way that people in the past used to see them on a regular basis. I will never forget the time that DH and I were camping at a park outside of Yosemite and I saw the night sky on a clear night with no artificial light interfering.

It was the first time I had ever seen the Milky Way.


Is it any wonder that the ancients thought of the stars as a heavenly host?

What would we think of the stars if we didn't know anything about space, stars, and distance?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dont feel bad about facing the wrong way. I spent a good min. or two watching a huge meteor. Only to discover it was a jet.

-aza-

Donna B. said...

For three years, one of my daughters lived in the foothills of the Huachuca mountains. I loved visiting her and sitting outside after dark looking at the stars.

I saw stars and constellations there that I'd only read about and seen pictures of.

wv - aurea

Sabio Lantz said...

Fun story.

You said:

"What would we think of the stars if we didn't know anything about space, stars, and distance?"

Everyone would make up different stories. When we don't understand we create stories. Then when understanding comes, hopefully the stories get relegated to fun campfire tales.