leonids

by underswansea

_LME5409Clouds and light

The annual Leonid meteor shower is peaking this morning. However, they are nearly impossible to see through the arriving cloud cover. I say nearly because it may be possible to see a bright meteor. Only the brightest of stars can be seen; the twins of Gemini, the stars of Orion and Procyon of Canis Minor.

Looking for meteors is like fishing. Sometimes you catch them and some times you don’t, but you’ll never catch them if you don’t go out. Tonight I tried to rise above the clouds for a better look. Eventually I accepted my fate – skunked. I have seen many lovely falling stars during the Leonid shower in years past. At one time it was the only shower I watched seriously.

_LME5328The disappearing Milky Way from yesterday 

Last night I did see two brilliant Leonids. Unfortunately the camera was pointing elsewhere. It was very clear last night and I was able to see the small constellation Cancer rise over the mountains. Cancer is a favourite winter constellation. It contains the incredible star grouping The Beehive Cluster. The Beehive has over 1000 gravitationally linked stars. Astronomers have been able to detect planets around several of the suns. The cluster is difficult to see with the unaided eye unless the sky is exceptionally dark.

The cold isn’t gnawing on me like it was a week ago. Goes to show a man can get used to anything. Leonids or not it was good to be out.

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