Lost Leonids

Sunset 14 Nov 2011

Although this week has been chock full of fantastic sunrises and sunsets, the wind and clouds have hampered my ability to view the famed Leonid meteor shower.  With the sun rising and setting during my daily commute, I have few safe opportunities to snap a successful photograph.  So I just enjoy the eye candy while avoiding the cars around me as I drive into the sun (except for the first or last ten miles of my commute which is along a north-south corridor between Bonner Springs and Lansing, Kansas).

On a whim, last night after meeting my dad at a local eating establishment for a quick birthday dinner (not the official one, but a quickly arranged one to get his freshly baked bread into his hands), I stepped out into my backyard and looked up (as you’ll recall from my earlier post, I always look up when I exit a building).  Much to my surprise and delight I saw a prominent shooting star streak across directly overhead from east to west, leaving a trail like a laser beam across the sky for a second or so.  I immediately ran in the house and told Terry what I’d seen, then cranked up the laptop to see if I still had hope of seeing more of the Leonid meteor shower that night.

The Leonid meteor shower peaks the night of November 17/18, although its shooting stars will have to battle a nearby Last Quarter Moon after midnight. Astronomy: Roen Kelly

I logged onto Astonomy magazine‘s website and found a nice graphic that confirmed I still had time to view some more meteors.  I tried to force myself to stay awake until the moon rose, but read myself to sleep (again) around 11:30 p.m.  My husband woke me up in the middle of the night, but the swiftly scudding clouds obscured all but the glow of the moon.  No sight of Mars, Regulus, Denebola or any shooting stars seemed likely.  Naturally, I fell back asleep, dreaming of clear, dark skies next year.

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