Being hopeless romantics here at NEWS24/680 we donned anti-skeeter clothing, grabbed a favorite blanket and personal sound system and settled into a well-worn chaise to watch The Perseid trails flame out in our atmosphere early Friday.
We’re not sure why we derive so much pleasure from this activity. Bundling up under a blanket and listening to The Cure while staring into the night sky might have something to do with it – but the ensuing light show was well worth the price of admission and there were fringe benefits.
We don’t know if you were out there with us last night but most of the action seemed to scream in east to west, with Perseids flashing in like tracers and extinguishing themselves somewhere over Orinda.
This morning, we’ll bet some lucky homeowner will exit their home to find their lawn pocked by million dollar space rocks. (We’re not kidding, those things are worth some bucks…)
Our normally busy night sky was unusually quiet to us Friday. We don’t know if aircraft are advised to stand down during meteor events but we saw perhaps two jetliners dodging dozens of pulsing Perseids during our many hours looking skyward.
We were so used to seeing things cross from our right to left that it was startling when something really big, grey, feathery and quiet flashed across our field of view shortly after midnight – those rounded wings in full profile as a Long-eared Owl provided a welcome diversion, followed by some zig zagging bats. The owl got almost as many “ooohs” as the brightest Perseid.
Astronomers predicted the 2016 sky show would be one of the most active ever and they were right, as far as we could tell, fortifying ourselves with hot chocolate and some early Rolling Stones before heading back to see what was crisscrossing our quadrant of The Heavens.
How about you guys? How was the sky gazing in your neighborhood?