August. Summer nights with clear skies. Every year around this time the Perseid meteor shower puts on its show...part of what defines summer for me. Years ago this is what I might have seen...the view from Land's End, San Francisco. With quite a lot of light pollution from big cities, not many stars were ever visible. photo courtesy of ehoyer
I don't live there anymore. Here's what home looks like these nights...nights with a bizillion stars.
Not the moon you're seeing there, but the planet Venus. There's no moon this year between midnight & dawn to interrupt the meteoric display. Scientists say that 2010 is a good year for the Perseids. From NASA:
The Perseid meteor shower is caused by debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle.
Every 133 years the huge comet swings through the inner solar system and leaves
behind a trail of dust and gravel. When Earth passes through the debris,
specks of comet-stuff hit the atmosphere at 140,000 mph and disintegrate
in flashes of light.
The meteors are called Perseids because they fly out of the constellation Perseus.
Swift-Tuttle's debris zone is so wide, Earth spends weeks inside it.
Indeed, we are in the outskirts now, and sky watchers are already reporting
a trickle of late-night Perseids.
Sky watchers. That would be me. And this one...who follows me everywhere including out to the garden at midnight. Who is my shining star by any definition.
She has a new "hedgie." No less than 5 squeekers hidden within. Bigger than dawg's whole head. Hysterical :>]]
May you find stars wherever you look for them,