Friday, August 12, 2011

Perceiving the Perseids

Make the Most of the Meteors

I had the opportunity to check out the Perseid Meteor Shower early this week while still on vacation. We were down at the shore and had a pretty optimal, clear night to see the shooting stars light up the night sky. Far from the big city and with a dark expanse of ocean on half of the horizon, the show on wednesday morning was quite amazing. I woke up around 3:30 and headed out to the 2nd story deck. The first thing I noticed was how many stars I could see! I almost forgot how beautiful the night sky can be, away from city lights. I could actually see the "milk" of the milky way and it was incredible! The peak observance of the shower was apparently this morning and again tomorrow morning, but there were still a fair amount of meteors on wednesday for us to enjoy. What a way to wake up! It brought back such fond memories from my childhood when my father would wake us up and we'd all go outside on the front lawn with blankets and lay on the ground, huddled together and just look up at the stars. I remember first seeing a shooting star as a kid and being so totally blown away that I just about teared up. That was the first time in my life I remember being in love with the cosmos, being in awe of the natural wonder of the universe... I still am.

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