A Day In The Life

Up Above the World So High
August 13, 2007, 8:35 pm
Filed under: Family, Nature


Mom, my nieces and I carried blankets, lawn chairs, pillows, binoculars and mosquito repellent to the middle of Mom’s hay meadow last night at 11 PM.   Our mission was to watch the Perseids meteor shower light up the sky.  It was a very dark night with no moonlight so the view of the firmament was spectacular.  My oldest niece had studied her astronomy book earlier in the evening and was set to identify constellations as she lay on her back gazing at the heavens.  My youngest niece liberally doused herself with mosquito repellent and as a further deterrent, wrapped herself in a sheet.  By midnight, she was sleeping soundly while the rest of us witnessed a display that put human-made fireworks to shame. 

The source of the meteor shower is the comet Swift-Tuttle.  Swift-Tuttle’s meteors fly out of the constellation Perseus, from whence the title “Perseids” derives.  The meteors are tiny bits of comet dust that hit the Earth’s atmosphere traveling approximately 132,000 miles per hour.  A tiny smidgen of dust makes a vivid streak of light-a meteor-when it disintegrates.  According to NASA, August 12 and 13 were the prime nights for watching the Perseids meteor shower due to the lack of moonlight.  The best hours for watching were between 1AM  and 5AM.  Viewers could possibly see a hundred meteors streaking across the sky per hour. 

We probably saw 20-25 meteors in the first hour spent in the hay meadow.  The numbers increased the second hour and near 1AM we saw two meteors explode simultaneously.  Around 1:30AM, we reluctantly declared mission accomplished.  We were all yawning and the mosquitoes were starting to penetrate the repellent barrier.  It was a wonderful experience to share with each other and an awesome exhibition of nature’s wonders. 


8 Comments so far
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OH, MAN! Willi and I both saw one and called it a night at about 10:00 or so. 5:00 AM just comes to darn early. I enjoyed reading about your sightings!

Comment by gawilli

we did this last year after our big anniversary party in the back yard.

I thought about getting in the hammock last night – but it would have just been me and I would have been lonely.

Wish I lived close to you so I could have joined you in the hay

Comment by Pamela

It didn’t show up here, very disappointing.

Comment by beccy

When I was in College – we used to drive into the wheat fields and watch. It would be pitch black and the sky would just be bright. It was so cool to watch.

One year my sister’s Hispanic friend came with us and she brought her non-English speaking family. When a shooting star was seen there was a universal language “OOOOOOH, AAAAAAAH!” (then, we would all giggle at each other)

Comment by Karmyn R

I am jealous! I have always wanted to experience such a spectacle. But alas! haven’t had the good fortune of doing so!

Comment by narziss

A part of me never believes that meteor showers are really very visible. But I have never made the effort to be in the right place at the right time. It sounds pretty wonderful just to lay in a hay field and look up at the sky with people you love. The showers sound like an added bonus.

Comment by Angelina

How I wish I was there…I love the smell of hay.

Comment by Debbie

what a perfect evening!~

Comment by Vicki

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