Location: Searchlight, Nevada
Meter showers have been considered a grand entertainment long before YouTube and reality television. We decided to make the best of the show, so we packed up some blankets, pads, pillows, and a few snacks and drove 45 minutes south of Las Vegas to get away from the bright city lights. Then under the dark night skys, between moonset and dawn (2 AM to 5 AM) we lay on our backs to watch the Perseids meteor shower.
For most situations there is the metaphor for dusk being symbolic of obscuring truth and the dawn bringing light and clarity. With astronomy this is the exact opposite. The lighter the sky becomes, the less stars, planets, and meteors we can see.
The first thing that we notice is the Milky Way.
It has been there all the time, but with the bright city lights of Las Vegas, it is never quite visible. Then as our eyes become accustomed to the dark, more and more stars appear.
Then there is a bright brief streak of a meteor burning its path in random directions in the sky.
It may see silly, but we “Ooh” and “Aah” at every one of them. There seemed to be a meteor flashing about every 90 seconds.
We bring out our smart phones to verify the constellations and to see when the Hubble is moving across the sky.
With the coming of the daylight, the stars and meteors become harder to see. We pack up and head back to watch the sunrise, have a light snack, and finish our interrupted sleep