Thursday, August 13, 2009

Perseid Meteor

Perseid Meteor
Originally uploaded by dmourati
Tonight we trekked up to Skyline Boulevard to Skegg's Point to take in another night of stargazing and scoping for Perseid Meteors. The location was fairly familiar to us as it is near the peak elevation of some of our bike rides. This particular location came up as a result of the extensive research I had done on best spots to view the Perseid Meteor shower. Like my experience last night, it did not disappoint.

As we traveled up the hill to our destination, i could tell we were going to be in for some awesome viewing conditions. The moon had yet to pop up and the area was so remote that none of the light pollution affected our ability to make out starts, even as we drove up in the car.

Upon arriving at the location we threw down a blanket and set up camp in an ideal spot. We were perhaps the second or third group to arrive at the spot but those there before us seemed a bit clueless.

"What time does the meteor shower start?," one fellow inquired, as if the celestial display had a programming schedule. Meanwhile, we were busy getting our eyes adjusted and taking in the first meteors of the evening. I took pity on him and let him know that the shower was already in full effect and that his best bet was to look up and wait.

Before too long we saw one, then two, then three or four meteors clearly in the night sky. It was quite a treat. After seeing a good number with the naked eye, I decided to try my luck with the camera.

Before too long some friends started sending SMS messages to my phone inquiring if our spot was good for stargazing. As if there was ever any doubt? I let them in on our not-so-secret spot and gave them driving directions from their sub-standard first perch.

Luckily, not too many folks wandered into our little world that evening. A few car headlights proved distracting for a moment or too but luckily nothing affected our ability to see the wonderful meteors.

At a little after 11 PM, I captured this meteor as it streaked across the sky, low in the horizon. The trees and bushes near our blanket provided just enough context to frame the meteor in all its glory.

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