Nothing makes us consider our place in the universe quite like gazing up into the night sky. This year, we can take a marvelous look at the Perseid Meteor Shower.
The next few nights in the northern hemisphere are going to be special, because a famous meteor shower is going to be at its zenith on the darkest nights in this month’s lunar cycle. Absolutely no moon means absolutely perfect star gazing.
There’s more possibility to consider with this activity: could this be a fun opportunity to get back to being truly present with the people we care about for a few hours? Maybe this could be a bit of “old school” wonder and togetherness? Here’s more of this story:
Last night our family (for the second night in a row) stretched out on the floor of a pontoon boat my dad made from scratch 40+ years ago, and we waited for the light show referred to as The Perseid Meteor Shower. The streaks across the sky were frequent enough to keep us engrossed for hours, and in between, we told stories that were priceless. Looking back, I’m not sure which was the better “show”: the shooting stars or the lavishly embellished tales. We laughed until we cried a few times.
I’m sharing this with you today because the next few nights (August 12 and 13, 2015) are supposed to be the best viewing of this unique kind of night sky spectacle in a decade.
You might see something that will fill you with wonder for years, and if you are like us, the fun will be in being truly present with people you care about.
(Oh!.. and make a NO PHONES rule like we did. That was a complete game changer!)
So get some friends, a big blanket, some bug spray and have some very “old school” fun tonight or tomorrow night… keeping in mind that the particles creating the shooting stars are no bigger than a grain of sand and they are entering our earth’s atmosphere at thousands of miles per hour.
They may be 12 billion years old. Now that deserves some respect!
In fact, to add to the inspiration, you might like to know what a “meteor shower” actually is! It’s all very fascinating. First, take a look at this nice little video I found from ShantiUniverse:
This mysterious comet, whose tail the Earth will pass through, is called Comet Swift-Tuttle. Scientists think it has come from somewhere completely outside our galaxy. Hard to imagine it could have been wandering through space for billions of years, and still had enough particles to cast off in its wake. If you are lucky, at peak viewing time you should see between 10 to 20 meteors an hour.
Here’s a little more insight from the awesome channel of JM Madiedo!
Hope this inspires a little time spent with someone you care about, enjoying something that our ancestors might have done 50,000 years ago!
Here’s a pic of Dr. Chuck (our EWC co-founder) with the Illinois prairie sky above:
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Meanwhile, stay hopeful, open and curious!
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- ShantiUniverse. “Intense Meteor Shower Expected Next Week: Perseids.”YouTube. ShantiUniverse, 7 Aug. 2015. Web. 11 Aug. 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7mqfNr12Ws>. ↩
- Madiedo, JM. “Perseid Meteor Shower in 2015.” YouTube. Jm Madiedo, 9 June 2015. Web. 11 Aug. 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbV67DaIzcU>. ↩