Every August there’s a massive light show in the sky. Yes, I’m talking about the Perseid meteor shower. Apparently, they’ve already started, but the peak will be from August 11-13, so if you live in a place where there isn’t a whole lot of light pollution and where you have access to clear skies at night, you’ll have a chance to see the spectacular shooting star show.
I’m not sure if we’ll be able to see them this year, our summer has been really temperate — something I very much enjoy—but it also means cloud covers and drizzle. And, since we’re going to be near the full moon during the peak of the shower, that’s going to impede some viewing as well. But even with the full moon, there’s still a good chance to see some shooting stars. According to astronomers, if you live in the northern hemisphere, you have the best chance of seeing the Perseids. Also, the heaviest meteor showers are visible early in the morning — before dawn. I also just found out that NASA is having a meteor watch on its Facebook page this year, starting August 12th at 6PM PDT! So if there are clouds, I can see a few shooting stars online, although it’s definitely not the same.
I absolutely love watching the Perseids. In fact, over the years we’ve had meteor parties. We’ve had friends over, and played the alphabet game. Whenever someone sees a meteor, they call out, and then have to give the meteor the name of something in the theme we’ve set, with the current letter. We’ve actually had to run through the alphabetic several times during really good years for viewing. That gets difficult when you get into the weird letters like Q or Z, especially when we had the theme of gods and goddesses. (For example, the first person to see meteor shouts out Athena, and the second person to see a meteor would shout out Bast, and so on). It can help, if you are in a good viewing area, to pick easier themes, like geographical terms and names. You could, theoretically, play a drinking game with the meteors but I don’t recommend using hard alcohol for it!
Anyway, I hope you get to see a few meteors and wish on a few falling stars this year. It never fails to lift my heart when I’m watching a meteor shower. It makes me aware of just how vast the universe is, and sometimes it makes the problems we’re facing seem smaller and more insignificant, at least for a while.