Monday, August 13, 2007

The Perseids
All hype, no show

Since I'm a huge-o dork, I was all excited about the Perseid meteor shower this year. For those of you who don't know, every year Earth moves through the Swift-Tuttle comet stream. In other words, there's a comet named Swift-Tuttle (stupid name, imo) that orbits the sun. This comet has a trail of dust and shit. Every year Earth passes through this trail of crap. This trail of crap takes the form of meteors when they enter into and get burned up in Earth's atmosphere. Cue meteor shower.

So, I've been all excited about this meteor shower for the last month (at least). Like I said, I'm a dork. It was supposed to be all awesome this year because it coincides with a new moon ("no" moon). Meaning the night sky is really dark so you can see more of the opposed to last year when the Perseids coincided with a full moon, the light of which drowned out much of the meteors. Also, Mars right now is really bright in the NE sky (where most of the meteors will appear to be).

Yeah, so anyway. I was all excited to go out and view this magnificent show of stellar/burning dust beauty. What dampened my excitement? Mother Nature. What a bitch. She decided to give Rochester about 75%+ cloud cover last night. I was still optimistic at this point. At 1am my mom and I drove out a bit to escape the bright Rochester city lights. We gazed up into the cloud gaps in the sky. For like 45 minutes or so. I saw 1 decent meteor, a couple ok meteors, and maybe 4 really crappy faint ones. This is not what I was imagining, especially after reading that it was going to be awesome with as many as 60-120 meteors per hour during peak times (which was 1-2am central time. Apparently). Sure, I blame some of this on the clouds. But we did have decent sized clear windows in parts of the sky that they should have been in. I think that even with a clear sky it would have been a bust. It was hyped up so much it was bound to be a disappointment. Stupid people who over-hype things.

So it's supposed to be pretty good tonight as well...but we're supposed to get severe thunderstorms tonight. Fie on you, Mother Nature!!!

I can only hope that they just suck everywhere, regardless of weather. Because if I can't enjoy them, dammit, no one should!!! I don't know. Maybe it was the clouds and maybe we were out during an uneventful 45 minute window (although it was during the supposed "peak time"). In any event, this turned out to be all hype and no show. Bummer. Maybe the clouds will miraculously lift tonight and I can go out and see some hot meteor-on-meteor action. One can only wish.


At 8/13/2007 6:49 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

I read that the showers were supposed to be great last night, but I totally forgot to go out and look. Bummer. I don't know if it was clear or cloudy. Maybe I'll give it a whirl tonight.

At 8/13/2007 7:48 PM, Blogger Candy said...

Damn, one summer Maria, Lelani, and I slept outside in Maria's backyard and saw the Perseids. It was cool. I want to do that again...let's go camping some summer in the future. We can plan it.

This girl I went tubing with a couple of weeks ago told me that on August 27 Mars is going to look as big as the moon in the sky. She said someone sent her an email about it. I was skeptical, so I looked it up and it's an old email hoax. Ha!

At 8/13/2007 8:11 PM, Anonymous joleen said...

We were watching for the shower too, with 100% clear skies mind you, and we didn't see shit. I saw one faint one, and that's all, and this was during the peak time as well. I think it's all a conspiracy to make us stand up and look at the sky while government-friendly aliens sprinkle mind control dust in our faces. Either that, or our current crop of astronomers are retarded.

At 8/13/2007 8:29 PM, Blogger Emily said...

That Mars thing is pretty funny. Mars would have to get pretty damn close to us to look as big as the moon! Although soon it WILL be very close to us (compared to usual). That's why I believe NASA is planning on sending a probe or some shit to Mars soon. Or something.

And Joleen, I totally agree with the gov't conspiracy. I'm already feeling a bit funky today after my sky-watching last night. Damn gov't... :D


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