Thursday, August 12, 2010

Can we pretend that airplanes in the night sky...... NOT TONIGHT!

Ah August how I love thee. First you have the sweltering heat. Making your sweatyness get all sweaty. Then you have the back to school rush, which I previously expressed  my love for. State fairs, last minute bbq's and swimming trips, ya gotta admit that August is pretty badass. But tonight is going to be a hell of a night, like always for August. The Perseid Meteor shower.

Every year from mid-July to mid-August the Perseids come streaking through our night skies. Every 130 years, the comet Swift-Tuttle makes a beautiful show in our earthly sky, but for the rest of the 129 years that it's not close enough to be seen, we make a pass through it's debris field, a.k.a. the Perseid Meteors.

The Perseids have been viewed for over 2000 years. Some Catholics refer to the meteor shower as "Tears of St. Lawrence" since the peak date for the showers is between the 9th of August and the 14th of August. St. Lawrence's date of martyrdom is August 11th.

So myself, like many others in the northern hemisphere, will be staking outside, chillaxed back in a dark area, with our eyes to the sky. Tried last year, but the darn moon! It was sooo bright, it drowned out all the prettiness of the meteors. This year should be different because the moon is still new.

But tonight is not just an ordinary peak of the Perseids, tonight is something special. Tonight, Saturn, Mars and Venus will be gathering in the West with the 5-day old crescent moon, to make sort of a Picasso-esqe celestial smiley face. Venus will be a shiny blue-white, while Saturn will be more of a gold, and Mars of course will be blood red. After they set around 9:30, you won't have to wait long to see the meteors! Scientists are predicted that you should be able to see up to 50 meteors per hour starting around 10:30 or 11 pm.

So if you got nothing to do tonight, like me, grab a blanket, some snack and drinks, and head out to your favorite dark secluded place away from city lights. I'll prolly head out to the local state park, or even a soybean field. You won't need binoculars or a telescope, cuz these pretty sights can be seen with the naked eye! I'll be taking my camera, so let's hope for some pictures! Sit back, relax and enjoy the shows ladies and gentlemen.

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