...I mean...take a chance to see a meteor shower this year.
I have loved astronomy ever since I could remember. My science projects in school were always geared toward planetary studies or reading whole astronomy sections at the school library. (I serious! I did!) So naturally, when I was teen I dragged my parents to the desert to view the 'Perseid' meteor shower that occurs every year at around August 13th. I remember that we weren't alone in doing so because there were others just like us who came out to check out the "shooting stars".
They occur every year when the earth orbits through huge streams of dust that were left by passing comets. When that happens, our planet experiences a meteor shower. The meteors themselves are just small pieces of interplanetary debris, that vaporize as they hurl into Earth's upper atmosphere.
Here's a quick view chart of the meteor showers that occur every year:
(*Note: Bright moonlight will interfere with Perseids this year.)
So if you decide to go, here are a few tips:
1. Go to a dark location far from the major city lights. You won't see much if you don't.
2. Check the calendar when there's a full moon. Moonlight will 'drown' out the shower with its own brilliance. (Best to go during a "New Moon"/no moon)
3. Take a jacket and/or blankets. Chances are you are heading out to the desert where the temperatures are cold at night.
4. Get comfortable. Bring lawn chairs or lay out on someones pick-up truck.
5. Bring your patience. Even if you don't get to see many, it could be a cool chance to hang out with some buddies and just 'chill'.
I still love astronomy as I did as a kid. But unfortunately, all I get to admire are the sunspots on the sun or the maria on the moon or Jupiter, Venus or Sirius in Orion. Only the brightest objects in the sky are usually visible in our light polluted sky.
Do any of us stop to smell the flowers these days?
Do any of us stop to look "up"?