For those of you interested in seeing pretty cool things at night, then you probably keep track of upcoming meteor showers, or ISS overpasses, or even just random stargazing. The Perseid meteor shower, made up of the remains of Comet Swift-Tuttle, is a recurring shower that’s been observed for hundreds of years, always around the same time of year. This year, however, the peak fell around 1200-1300 local time, which for all of you in Michigan sucks.
So, you could either watch it start early in the morning or wait until nightfall to see the tail end. I decided to do both, but with my bad luck the morning edition was clouded over. I stayed up until 0400 local, went outside to try to catch a few meteors, and could barely see the Moon through the clouds. I went back outside around 2230 tonight, after the sun had set and most of the light was gone, and lied down and waited.
Of course, since I live near major cities and my home is surrounded by trees (in the subdivision of Nottingham Forest…), I only saw two meteors during a fifteen-minute span. Not bad, but not good at the same time. I also saw what I’m pretty sure was some sort of satellite pass overhead, but I couldn’t figure out what exactly it was. Before you ask about how I could tell it was a satellite, I’ll just tell you: the point of light was constant (i.e. not blinking), traveled quite fast across the sky, and was as faint as some stars.
So, two meteors and a rogue satellite. Not bad for a random August night, right?