Thursday, August 13, 2009

Waiting for meteors

Last night I went into the backyard to try and watch the Perseids meteor shower. It was cloudy, the moon was out, the trees were big, the porch lights were on....but despite all that, I was feeling hopeful because I just got a new set of binoculars. This was also the first time I had ever set out to look for a falling star. And since it might take a while, I lay on my back in the grass (because the binoculars turned out to be kind of heavy) and hoped that I would not be interrupted by possum traffic. Luckily Violet came over and settled herself on top of me to act as lookout. I was now in business.

I got the binoculars focused and searched and searched the sky, the small part I could actually see. I then fiddled with the focus. I then decided to just focus on one star and be patient. Maybe some more fiddling. Finally a star started moving. How exciting! It made all sorts of circles and jiggles in the sky and I was awestruck....for minutes on end. For minutes. And more minutes that started to add up to big parts of an hour. Then I thought, these things aren't supposed to go on this long. If I was watching a meteor, why wasn't it moving in just one direction and if it was a fireball, why wasn't it burning up or doing something besides wiggling in the sky? I set my binoculars on another star. It started the same wiggly jiggly dance. So did the next one. Damn. It was just my bad focusing skills. I never saw anything worth anything and since the number of mosquitos that found me were equal to the number of stars I could see in the sky, Violet and I ran back into the house as fast as we could.

Anyway, the only reason I'm writing about this non-event is so that if I check this day in my blog one year from now, I will remember to go to that land in Kansas and watch the meteor shower there. And if I manage to get a new car this weekend, I might just go out there and do that. :-)

I'm not sure why but I decided to do a Google search for fireballs and look what I found:

It's true. Amazon really does sell everything. With free shipping too.


Maureen said...

You could have been watching satellites, they can be irratic too.

Maria said...

Fascinating. I don't think the sky was filled with satellites though.

snakey said...

what a relief i don't have to shoot fire balls out of my eyes and can just have them delivered to someone from amazon!

45+ and Aspiring said...

The first time I used a microscope, I looked at the first slide and thought, "cool." Then I looked at the next one and said, "Hey, this looks just like the first one." The teacher asked me what I saw. . . long black wavy things. . .yep! My own eyelashes.

abb said...

Binoculars and I are not good friends. Just sayin'.

Maria said...

Snakey-HA ha. I didn't think of sending them as a "gift" purchase. Excellent idea. >:-)

45-Hey you. How you been doing? And ha ha about the eyelash thing. I was guilty for getting mesmerized by the same thing back in school. I'm just not that good with optical equipment. I'm supposed to wear glasses but I use them more as a hairband to keep my hair out of my face. I remember one time in a college geology class, we were using something stereoscopic to view photos of different geological terrain. Each eye looked at two slightly different images so by doing this you got a three dimensional they say. I just could not get it. I remember looking at a river in a canyon but my eyes saw the depth completely inverted so that it looked like the river ran at the top of a bigggg mountain top. Oh well. Good thing I made a career in the two dimensional world.

TSAnnie-Good to know. My new binoculars and I are not the immediate friends I thought would we be. :-/