Monday, 14 August 2017

Perseids

So. there I was, rushing my little old Mum along at 22:00 on Saturday night trying to get her ready so I could take her down the beach. All day she'd been mumbling on about the meteor shower and how she would be able to see it better if there wasn't too much light around her (she has bad eyes and there is a streetlight at the bottom of our garden the normally obscures everything). I'd looked skyward when I let the dog out just before 22:00, saw the sky was clear and decided it was time to be a 'good daughter'. I even forewent the bottle of wine I had chilling so I could take her (I really do have my moments where I am the daughter she deserves!!!)

Armed with my camera, water and chocolate for us both, off headed, finding ourselves a nice spot on the beach. Not too close to the other people, not too far away that we were completely isolated. We got set up, got comfy, I loaned Mum a hat and blanket (I'd told her to make sure she took extra's as I knew she'd get cold). 10 minutes later some twat and his girlfriend (who talked non-stop) decided to pull up in front of us and leave their car lights on - the whole 2 hours we were there. Only when we got back in my car did he turn them off (I did get even!!!) While he may have blanked out a lot of the sky I could see (being blinded will do that) he did help enhance a distant wide shot I tried :)


Literally 20 minutes after we arrived, so did the cloud, which proceeded to get thicker by the second. By midnight we'd decided it was time to give up, head off home, by which time the clouds were thicker than my duvet.

I told myself (and Mum) I wasn't giving up until 01:30, and I am so glad I stuck to that. Mum, gave up at 01:10, however when I yelled her about 01:35 she came running. I cannot describe how amazing the sight that beheld us (I will, or course, try) and I am sure that it would have been pretty amazing without cloud, yet with cloud I believe it just enhanced our viewing pleasure. I'd thought I'd seen flashes of light just after she'd left me, then logic said it was someone further over having a party and it was light from that. Then the next batch I saw were higher in the sky; flashes of light whizzing inn all directions from what appeared to be one central point - reds, pinks, greens, whites, and blues. All of this was going on just above my garden gate. 

By the time Mum had joined me (back in the garden) it had died down; she waited with me for 20 minutes before telling me I'd imagined it. At that point I saw them again; she couldn't see quite so well, deciding to try looking out of my bedroom window. Turns out she was seeing a lot more up there than I was. This time the colours were more pronounced, the lights flashing quicker; at least a hundred more than I'd seen earlier. I tried to take photo's but the settings on my camera weren't right for the area they were in (I'd set it up for the area they were meant to be in) so all I ended up with were photo's of the lights (solar ones, not meteoric ones) in the garden. 


There were some pretty weird noises happening around me (I'm guessing the plants were talking to each other!!!! :) ) so I figured I'd try looking out of my own window (Mum had given up again). Wow, what I saw literally blew my mind. The only way I can describe it is this way:-

You know the 'world-is-going-to-end' movies where the world ends via burning pieces of rock entering our atmosphere where they go on to destroy our buildings and earth? Well, they were like that, but not. They were long, they were in the various colours I'd seen earlier, and they all entered at the same time, chasing each other down. They came from my left, shot across the sky to my right; I grabbed my phone to do a slow-mo and the bloody battery died. At one point there were 7 in a row with multiple other's chasing them down. I genuinely still can't believe what I was witnessing. The video below is the only one I've been able to find with a meteor that looks similar. The one at 27 seconds is like the ones I saw, yet I saw dozens of them, all at the same time, all chasing each other down. This lasted a good 2 minutes, then stopped, before starting again at roughly 18 minute intervals; I finally gave up and went to be at 03:35 by which time the last ones I saw weren't quite as abundant.


It truly was the most phenomenal thing I have ever seen. 

1 comment:

  1. I really should have proof read this because going through it now I can see how many words are wrong or missing - in my defence I'd had less than 4 hours sleep in 96 hours so feel I can be forgiven a little :)

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