Friday, December 14, 2012

2012 Geminid Meteor Shower Watch

Tonight, I bundled up heavily & laid out a blanket on my cellar door, under the clear night sky. I decided to stay up late & watch the Geminid Meteor Shower.

Huffington Post:

I live near the center of a small town, so it's definitely not pitch black out. It's dark enough, though. Tonight is clear & it's a new moon, so I can see alot of stars. In a couple hours, I saw at least a few dozen shooting stars. There were several really bright ones, with visible trails. It was definitely worth sitting out on this 35ยบ winter night to see.

Basically what's happening is that the Earth is passing through a debris field of some large, rocky object. As the pieces of asteroid or comet hits the atmosphere, it burns up. It's human nature to be awestruck to these mysterious rocks from the sky. Ancient people, without our technical knowledge, must have viewed these celestial events with wonder & some fear.

Thanks to the modern-day tech, namely the Stellarium app for my iPhone, I was able to tell that the brightest object in the sky tonight was, in fact, Jupiter. It was directly overhead & I lay there marveling that I was able to visually perceive a huge ball of gas that far away. Since it's a planet, all the light we see is reflected from the Sun.

Out in the infinity of space, there are countless stars, & they are even more incomprehensible distances away. I always enjoy being able to relax & ponder my particular experience in this vast cosmic process.

It's easy to feel insignificant when faced with the expanse of space, but our bodies are a whole world compared to a cell... or even a molecule! Our universe is One Infinite Fractal. Human perception of this multidimensional fractal is only zoomed in at one level, but there are countless levels- it's a continuum! Our level is not more or less significant than another. It just is...

Before going in, I saw a 2nd meteor follow right behind a 1st one, almost right into Jupiter. Within a minute, I saw another one go right between Castor & Pollux- the 'heads' of the constellation Gemini that give the meteor shower its name. I thought that was a good sign to call it a night...

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