Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I can see this!

The Leonid meteor shower is going on now. It "starts" tonight, as if you can correograph a natural event. The peak for the meteors is in the pre-dawn hours of 3-5 a.m. Saturday morning.

Saturday! Huzzah! I have often complained that Mother Nature doesn't "schedule" these kinds of events when I can watch. No way can I get up at 3 on a week day and expect to be even reasonably functional at work.

I have fond memories of sky watching with my dad when we lived on the farm. There were a few occasions when he got me up and we sat on the front porch watching meteors. I don't remember a lot of sky streaks. I do remember one morning being really cold and thinking "This is not fun."

The best time was a hot August evening, around midnight, driving west with a very sleepy Carole to watch the Persaids. We found a graveyard way out west, parked, spread a blanket on the hood of the car, slathered on the bug spray and lay back. I don't remember the year but I remember the streaks of light across the sky. I think we saw, roughly, 10-15 per hour in the 2 hours we watched. It was well worth the tiredness the next day.

I'm already considering where I want to go. I should take a brief siesta before getting up at 2:30 and driving some place west. I might not have to go as far west as I think. There might be reasonably dark areas within a half hour's drive. A mug of hot tea, a couple of muffins, warm clothes and a blanket stretched across the hood of the Jeep. I could do this.

Now where did I put that glow in the dark sky chart and I wonder if my camera can capture any part of a darkened night sky?

Beverage: English Breakfast tea


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