Making an Effort to Look Up

Two friends and I went out tonight to try to get a look at the Perseid meteor shower.  I was hoping that it would provide blog-worthy astronomy descriptions, but we weren’t really in optimal conditions.

First of all, we didn’t really get away from the city lights.  There is a dark spot near my apartment complex, where the street and building lights are all at the edges of sight, but it turned out to still have too much light to really see much.  There were also clouds drifting through; not thick enough to totally mar the sky, but enough to make stargazing a challenge.  We also didn’t give it a lot of time – two of us needed to be in relatively early – so we weren’t outside for peak viewing.

We saw a few vague streaks, but nothing really remarkable.  Mostly it was a beautiful night for a stroll and good company.  We were rewarded with a movie-quality moon, though.

The moon was nearing half-full, with the typical vertical orientation seen in tattoos and children’s artwork.  It sat low to the horizon in the west, creating the illusion of size, and it still  reflected enough of the long-set sun to shine orange.  Thin clouds caught the glow, framing the crescent, with wisps drifting dramatically across its face.  Hanging above the tree line, the moon was set apart from nearby lights, the dark sky providing a perfect backdrop.

There you go.  Now you had the same experience I did: very little in the way of meteors, but one excellent moon.  🙂