Monday, August 13, 2007

The Perseid Meteor Shower
Credit: Sirko Molau, IMO, Archenhold-Sternwarte

When the alarm sounded at 0400 this morning, 13 August, 2007, I awoke and turned it off. It was an unusual happening, as my usual time to awaken is 0330 and am usually out of bed by 0350. The weekend has been as busy as I had predicted, but I wanted to get up to see if I could view this years Perseid Meteor Shower. Alas, 'twas not to be the case. The gurus of astronomy said that 0200 might be the peak time to view approximately 90 meteors an hour. but any time up til dawn should provide a good show. At 0408 I was lying down on my back on the picnic table gazing up into the night sky. There were a few clouds but the sky was mostly clear and full of bright stars. By 0435 the clouds became progressively more dense until I felt as though I were peering through a tattered quilt and glimpsing infrequently a star here and there.

In spite of the fact that I missed seeing a meteor shower, the act of lying under the night sky perusing the bazillion stars and constellations, listening to the waves lap against the shore, and enjoying the refreshing breezes as they caressed my skin I was renewed.

An illustration of the Perseid meteor shower showing the radiant. This would be the view at about 11 pm BST on 11th or 12th August. CREDIT: Stuart/Stellarium


Anonymous Kat said...

I can't think of a better way to start the day, meteor shower or no meteor shower. I'm an early riser too, I love that time of day, it feels like I'm the only one awake anywhere.

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Brian said...

Too bright were I live to see them usually. Plus, that's way too early to be getting up.

12:09 PM  
Blogger Rowan said...

We looked for them too but didn't see anything - might give it another go tonight, they are visible for a couple of weeks I gather. With heavy rain forecast tonight and for the next couple of days chances are pretty slim though.

12:46 PM  
Blogger Churlita said...

We tried around midnight and it was also a no-go. Damn.

4:52 PM  
Blogger PEA said...

I didn't get to see them either but maybe that's because I stayed in my bed! lol Isn't it wonderful, though, to lay back and look at the midnight sky...I've always loved doing that. My imagination always runs away with me when I start thinking of what's out there:-) xox

8:30 PM  
Blogger Puss-in-Boots said...

Aren't meteor showers just wonderful to watch. We go up to Mt Coot-tha and, away from the city lights, usually get a wonderful view. Sorry you missed yours, but you sound as if you had a lovely time, anyway...stargazing, as opposed to navel!

6:06 AM  
Blogger Rowan said...

Can forget the meteor shower tonight anyway, it will be hidden away behind a thick layer of cloud! I hope you are enjoying the adventures of Susan and Colin, I must try and get over to Cheshire and take some photos of the Edge and surrounding area for you, I've been meaning to go home all summer but haven't made it so far.

5:41 PM  
Blogger Wanderlust Scarlett said...

OH! I love that you got up to see it! I never miss it, it's one of the best of the year, and I have the IMO on my favorites.

There are meteor showers every month... Geminids, Taurids, Leonids, Perseids.... pick one... or several.
But this is the best, and I love that you posted about it.

Now... how many wishes is that, and how many did you make? It helps if you go out with a list of wishes so that you come prepared.

Big hugs,
Scarlett & Viaggiatore

6:03 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

You're as mad as I am, Rel. A few years ago I did similar. I was out in my back yard at some ungodly hour of the early morn, laying on a camp mattress staring up at the stars trying to see a meteor cat joined me. He thought it was great fun being out there at that hour of the night/morn. I don't know what my neighbours would have thought if they'd seen me. They probably wouldn't have been too surprised...they knew I was quite insane! ;)

8:43 PM  
Blogger Catch said...

You know what Rel? I was thinking even if you missed the show, how peaceful and relaxing to be out there at that time of the morning and listening to the sound of waves lapping, birds waking up, a new day refreshing!

7:21 PM  
Anonymous gel said...

I'm very sorry you missed the show, but happy to read of the peace and beauty you felt.Ahhh- wonderful way to begin the day!
I, too, adore astronomy. I wrote more about that in my older blogs before meeting you, but I've retained lots of that love, as you noticed I recently reposted about the moon.

Did you read the incredibly fascinating news about Mira? (I saw the following in our national newspaper. Here's an excerpt:

"Astronomers have discovered that a star named Mira has shed material in a 13-light-year-long tail as it speeds through the Milky Way." (Washington Post, Thurs. Aug.16, 2007.) I need to run to an appointment, but I plan to post this news and more plus the links on my blog. Much of my artwork is based on the sky, as you may have realized. :)

11:24 AM  
Blogger Voix said...


12:25 PM  
Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

One of my fondest memories is going out with my father to see some meteor or something or other. There's nothing like looking at the stars to put things into perspective.

4:47 AM  

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