12 August 2005
Every freakin' year...
The Perseid Meteor shower occurs every year around this time. As the Earth passes through the tail of the comet Swift-Tuttle, particles burn up in the atmosphere, creating a show of shooting stars.
I've been trying to see the damn thing for at least the last decade. Every August 12 around 2 AM, it's the same thing: a sky filled with nothing but clouds. I just checked Intellicast.com (the best weather website in my opinion, no matter what those punks at the Weather Channel might say) and the Chicago radar shows nothing but rain lasting well into the daylight hours.
I'm an astronomy dork. A casual one, but a dork nonetheless. I'm not the type of person who would book a cruise to the Southern Hemisphere to see a solar eclipse visible no where else, but I do enjoy the opportunity to observe celestial phenomena.
There's another meteor event that takes place in November, the Leonid, and I havent had much luck with that one either. I had the chance to see some of it about five years ago, but is was so cold that I only lasted fifteen minutes. The Perseid is a more abundant show.
As I read about this year's display, I noticed a blurb mentioning that next year's will be difficult to see because of an exceptionally bright moon occurring at that time.
I need to find a bookie who will take bets on the weather. I guarantee that in the early hours of August 12, 2006, the skies will be clear as a bell over the near northwest 'burbs of Chicago.