Sunday, August 11, 2013

Meteors and Me

This morning, in the wee hours, I found a comfortable spot outside and settled down for a while with mah preshus kittehs by my side, so I could take in the Perseid meteor shower. I was not disappointed- besides seeing about a half-dozen ephemeral "shooting stars", I saw three impressive meteors, including the most spectacular meteor I've ever seen, a vivid "fireball" which left a luminous trail that lingered in my vision for a few seconds.

My technique for viewing the sky involved keeping my eyes relatively unfocused, so I could take in a good portion of the sky to the northeast, a sort of thousand-parsec stare, if you will. Being able to recline is not a bad thing, though I didn't do that this morning.

I've always been fascinated by meteors, ever since I first saw the meteorite collection at the Hayden Planetarium- the Willamette Meteorite is a personal favorite, it even looks otherworldly.

In the course of a 1993 cross-country road trip, my college roommates and I visited the Meteor Crater site in northern Arizona. After a bit of hemming-and-hawing about how it was a bit off the beaten track, we decided that, in the context of a road trip that encompassed thousands of miles, a side trip of a couple of hundred miles would be trivial. Besides, The Bronson from Wisconsin is the son of a professor of physics and astrophysics, so he would have kicked himself if he had blown an opportunity to see a crater he'd read about as a child. While I have no desire to visit Arizona in these current Jan Brewer/Joe Arpaio days, I am glad that I "got my licks in" when the country was still sane.

Yeah, I like meteors, I'd even say that my favorite story by Uncle Howard is about a meteor, a story that got a horror/comedy treatment in the Stephen King/George Romero collaboration Creepshow, which was adapted as a graphic novel:

Yeah, I like meteors alright, but I'd make sure I steered clear of meteor shit.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Watch the skies! EVERYWHERE!

Helmut Monotreme said...

When I got married this spring I chase a wedding band of titanium and meteorite iron. It's hardly mutated me at all.