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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I Did It! I Woke Up in Time. . .

. . . To see a bit of the meteor shower last night, er, this morning! I came out of REM sleep a little after 3:00 a.m., having gone to bed too late--slightly after eleven, figuring that that was it, I'll never wake up in time--and said to myself, 'groovy (I'm from the 60's), I have another hour's sleep before I need to do this.'

So I dozed till slightly after 4 a.m., heaved myself out of bed, padded downstairs still in my PJs and night socks, put on a snood and my warm Shabbat coat and went outside, first to the front of our townhome (there was no way I was getting into a car and driving anywhere half asleep.). I had already decided not to wake my husband, who was snoring-uh, in deep sleep, and wasn't that interested anyway (he said to me prior to going to bed, approximately--'it comes once a year, what's the rush?!)

The problem with the front of our place is, we have outside lights which go on automatically at night--turned on by the management--and they are not under our control; in addition, there are outdoor lamps all around the complex, so the urban effect was great, which made it hard to see the night sky. I walked a little way down the path which traversed our greenway in front of the townhomes and mid-rises, to where there was less light--and looked UP.

Remember, in a previous post I mentioned something about "dark-adapted vision"? It has to do with seeing all the stars of the Little Dipper. I actually saw the Little Dipper, but not all of it's stars. Nevertheless I was just thrilled to see most of them, with my own two eyes with glasses on (don't even ask what kind of prescription glasses I wear...).

I started to do a sweep, north to south, of the skies, but saw nothing except for the Little Dipper, part of the Big Dipper and several other stars and I'm sure constellations or parts thereof (which I long since forgot what they are called, Cassiopia, etc. - I used to know them, when I was little).

Beginning to get somewhat disappointed, I went back into the house and went out the back door to the patio and carports, and I saw immediately that, because of the huge field in back of our complex and fewer lights, there was much more expanse of sky to see. In addition, one of our street lamps lighting the carports and driveway area was not working well and kept blinking out--thus less urban effect!

I began to do my arched-neck sweep (yes, it was beginning to hurt a bit; I really should have been lying on a blanket right on the road to see it properly), this time south to north, and THERE IT WAS!! I saw a very, very bright meteor sweep to the north, it was a flash for a second--and then it was gone. What a beauty! I got a little emotional then, and sort of thanked Ribono shel Olam for the beauty of His creations. . .

Afterwards I kept searching the skies, because maybe, just maybe I'd get to see another one; only two, very faint meteors with tails--so faint, I'm almost wondering if I imagined them; and one more, slightly more visible one--and that was it. By that time, my neck was really aching me, it was 4:56 a.m. or so, and I was getting cold, so I decided to call it a night.

I had come outside at around 4:13 a.m., so it had been 40+ minutes, in an urban area full of lights, and had seen one bright meteor and three faint ones. Imagine how many more I might have seen, had I been lying down in the snow in a field outside of the city (not to mention the foxes or coyotes I might have seen, er--who might have seen me).

All in all, I can't remember the last time I saw a meteor, maybe when I was a child. It is quite awesome. . . and I'm glad I 'stepped outside of the box' for one night.



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5 comments:

晴天 said...

GOOD!!!................................................................................

N said...

I could never shlep myself out of bed early... Not even in the event of nuclear war lol

Lady-Light said...

Sunny: Please spam somebody else; it takes me too long to translate your profile (although I like the sound of traditional Chinese); your travel site can't help me, either. But thanks for visiting, just this once.

N: Although I am a morning person, lately I've been getting to bed too late, and can't get up. For the meteor shower, however, I done dood it! (-past tense of "do").

Rivster said...

When I was a kid, Haley's Comet was scheduled to make an appearance and my parents (well, really my mom) decided at about 11pm at night to pack us up and drive to Griffith Observatory to see it. Because of the reflection of the city lights bouncing off of the cloud cover, we couldn't see a thing. So that it shouldn't be a total loss, we THEN drove out to Joshua Tree National Forest where we did finally manage a glimpse of the comet.

I have to admit that I remember more about the adventure than what the actual experience of seeing the comet looked like. But it remains a fond childhood memory.

I thought about rousing my household for this celestial event. And then I turned over and went back to sleep!

Lady-Light said...

Rivster: How interesting! That is the sort of family activity a child remembers. It sounds as if your mother 'thought outside the box.' What a wonderful thing for a child.
"And then I turned over and went back to sleep" - ha. The older we get, the harder we fall (and the more sleep we need)- so true!

 
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