Subject: Meteor Watching Last Night & Tuesday
From: Alex Kemp
Date: Thursday, 13 August 2015 05:17:11 +0100
To: Oliver Kemp, Micaela Kemp, Liisa Kemp, Davin Kemp

2 nights ago was a profound disappointment - I did not see a single shooting star (see my message on the Perseids). However, I had woken up at 4am & the Eastern sky was already beginning to lighten when I got there (I had driven beyond the street lights to an empty, mown farmer's field). 30 minutes later I could see the far end of the field. The best part of it was seeing the thin sliver of the New Moon in the East, and the next best was stopping in at Tesco on the way home, getting some Bacon & having a bacon sarnie for breakfast.

Last night at 11pm was better - I got to see 2 shooting star trails + the International Space Station - but was also disappointing, and in a deeper way.

Conditions were the best that I can recall. It was warm, no Moon at all and, apart from one thin line of wispy cloud, perfectly clear. It was the best viewing conditions that I've had for the Perseids in a couple of decades. And yet, I saw just 2 star trails in 40 minutes. I got the point as I drank some coffee from my Thermos shortly before leaving & realised that I could see the waste straw on the ground around me. The lights of the city were far behind, yet they were reflecting off invisible cloud & destroying my fine vision. It is even possible that Micky & Ollie do not know what I'm talking about, since that is all that they have ever known. Ah! it's right what she said:- you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone.

In better news, I've got an even better graphic to help be sure where to look:-

The Guide to Perseid Watching

Cassiopeia is the “W”-shaped set of stars located near the top of the sky at ~11pm on August 12 in Britain. Perseus is the star formation that is under the left-hand part of that ‘W’. All the Perseids appear to radiate out from a point between the two (though closer to Perseus than Cassiopeia).

If there is any action that will help you to feel joined to millions of other humans across millions of years I do not know of it. To stand or sit beneath the stars & ponder the mystery of such a tapestry of light is ancient & core.

Alex Kemp