Friday, August 10, 2012

Burning Tears of St. Lawrence, or the Perseid Meteor Shower

Look towards the Perseus constellation in the northeast sky this weekend and from it will emanate the Perseid Meteor shower. If you have clear skies, this year promises to be excellent because the moon will be a mere crescent.

Today is the feast day of St. Lawrence of Rome, the archdeacon who tirelessly cared for the sick and poor and was grilled to death for his faith, coinciding with the annual meteor shower; thus the event is often referred to as the Burning Tears of St. Lawrence.

Get a blanket and make yourself comfortable.  You'll start seeing them every few minutes streaking across the sky after night fall, but if you like middle-of-the-night excursions the peak will be between 2 am and 3 am.  Saturday night will be better than Sunday, though around here Saturday is predicted to be cloudy.  We're planning a shooting star gazing event at a friend's yard atop a treeless hill on Sunday when the weather should be clear.