Lose yourself in the night sky

Time to forget about all the ‘stuff’ in the news.

Dogs have that wonderful ability to savour the moment and just enjoy the present.  Seems to me that there is just a bit too much going on at the moment in the big wide world and we could do a lot worse than take a chair out into the garden, or wherever, and enjoy the majesty of one of the light shows that the universe can put on.

But first an acknowledgement to Mike Shedlock, more details here.  I subscribe to his daily newsletter and it was there that, rather uncharacteristically for an economic blog, I saw the reference to the Perseids meteor shower which, annually, provides vivid viewing for us earth-bound creatures this time of the year.

Mike gave the link to an article in National Geographic Daily News, from which I quote,

A Perseid meteor appears to strike the peak of Mount Rainier, Washington, in 2010. Photograph by Siddhartha Saha, Your Shot

Andrew Fazekas

for National Geographic News

Published July 25, 2011

A celestial traffic jam may be on tap this week as two meteor showers combine forces to put on a brilliant sky show.

One of the best shooting star events of the year is the annual August Perseid meteor shower. (See Perseids pictures.) However this year’s peak, on August 12, happens to coincide with a bright full moon—drastically cutting down the number of meteors visible to the naked eye.

Yet while the main event might be blocked out by the blinding moonlight, the opening act promises to be much better.

(See “Year’s Biggest Full Moon, Mars Create Sky Show [2010].”)

This year the lesser known Delta Aquarid meteor shower is expected to peak on Friday night, when the Delta Aquarids’ more productive Perseid cousin is just starting to ramp up.

Together the showers will produce anywhere between 15 and 30 shooting stars per hour under clear, dark skies.

If this tickles your fancy then go to that article and read how best to view this wonderful sky show.

We haven’t seen them from this part of the world (i.e. Payson, Arizona), but down in South-West England it was easy to get up onto the moors (Dartmoor).  Sunset at this time of the year down in Devon is around 7pm local time and by 8pm there was often a beautiful cloudless night sky.

Wikipedia has some good background information on the Perseid meteor shower including, what I didn’t realise, that,

The Perseid meteor shower has been observed for about 2000 years, with the earliest information on this meteor shower coming from the Far East.  Some Catholics refer to the Perseids as the “tears of St. Lawrence“, since 10 August is the date of that saint’s martyrdom.

I think most people are aware, again from Wikipedia, that,

The shower is visible from mid-July each year, with the peak in activity being between August 9 and 14, depending on the particular location of the stream. During the peak, the rate of meteors reaches 60 or more per hour. They can be seen all across the sky, but because of the path of Swift-Tuttle’s orbit, Perseids are primarily visible in the northern hemisphere. As with all meteor showers, the rate is greatest in the pre-dawn hours, since the side of the Earth nearest to turning into the sun scoops up more meteors as the Earth moves through space.

But to come back to the National Geographic piece, as above, this year could be better than normal.  As I wrote,

This year the lesser known Delta Aquarid meteor shower is expected to peak on Friday night, when the Delta Aquarids’ more productive Perseid cousin is just starting to ramp up.

Together the showers will produce anywhere between 15 and 30 shooting stars per hour under clear, dark skies.

So I know it could be a tough choice – politics or standing in awe under a night sky – but, go on, force yourself!

Try that night sky.

6 thoughts on “Lose yourself in the night sky

  1. arrgh to look upon the night sky and see the Billions upon billions of stars… and to know we are all star-dust!.. all One in this Cosmic soup… I love nothing better to star gaze…For we are but spec’s in the Ocean of Time and Space, a mere reflection, a sliver of light that beams out into the Universe with her Blue Light of Oceans.. The watery planet of which our bodies are made up of almost 90% of water also minerals found within our Earth Mother…,,, Infinity no beginning and no end.. a truly mind blowing thought as we try to comprehend the Vastness, and how small a spec we are.. A mere grain of sand..
    Thank you for the links here Paul..


    1. Oh Sue, that’s just so beautiful! Thank you for that.

      I seem to recall from my distant past listening to a radio programme on the BBC that was about how, in a sense, we all have stardust within us. Then I came across a poem which I kept for years that picked up on that theme. Just had a quick search but if I have it, it will take more than a few minutes to dig out. Two house moves across two countries in the last 3 years have turned that phrase, ‘where on earth did I put …..’ into an art form!

      But thank you again Sue. P.


      1. I hope you dont mind me adding one of my own Poems here Paul.. One I wrote some time ago now.. which I too called STAR DUST

        Star Dust.
        Each day as I gaze unto the heavens as I remember you
        I sit within the quiet mind trying to not feel so blue
        For I remember aeons past when I sailed upon the sea
        I took you from your lands and you suffered terribly
        But way back then I saw your soul as I gazed into your eyes
        And through the time of troubled lives I never forgot your cries
        So I searched among the Stars that I travelled over time
        My searching now is over, as I reach inside your mind
        For you my love, are in my head, and I’ll never let you go
        Even though at times we’re far apart, my love for you I’ll show.
        I see it in the raindrops as I feel it in my tears
        And I feel your breath upon me as the wind blows the mists of years
        For it matters not the age I am, nor the youthfulness of heart
        For two souls that dance in Stardust no longer need to part.
        So I gaze unto the heavens as I remember you
        And homeward I am coming as the mist leaves drops of dew.
        So dance with me this last time, as brightly we do shine
        For together now united, my love once more your mine..

        Sue Dreamwalker …… Many Thanks!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.