12. Aug, 2014

The story of Perseid

Last evening, as the wind howled around us and rabbits scurried through the fields, the sight of the moon through the trees almost blew us away. Eerie? I always find the moon mysterious. But this moon was special. She was bright and full, 14% bigger than any other full moon this year and 30% brighter. It was no wonder our chances of seeing the full display of the Perseid meteor shower was limited.

     So what is the Perseid? It’s a trail of dust left behind comet Swift-Turtle every 133 years as it swings through the inner solar system. Then, as the Earth moves through it, the cloud of dust particles hit the atmosphere at 140,000mph and burn up in streaking flashes of light, creating the incredible spectacle we call the Perseids.  

     And again this evening, whilst staying with family in the dark of the countryside, we sit patiently, watching and hoping for a glimpse of the Perseids. The moon is there, closer to the Earth than normal but obscured by clouds. I think we could be in for a long evening.