Thursday, August 13, 2009

On Why I Love the Stars

I've always had a thing for the sky; the stars. One of my favourite things about going up North is lying on the dock on my back and just staring at all the stars for hours. The number of stars you can see in the country versus the city is astounding. It's gorgeous. When you stop to think about how big the universe actually is, and then think how small the Earth is in comparison, despite the fact that the Earth sometimes seems like the largest place actually boggles your mind. At least it boggles mine. I just can't fathom how big the universe must actually be. I do know however that it makes the actual Earth, our world, seem a lot smaller and maybe more manageable. Like maybe something or somebody you thought was far away, is really not that far away, at least in comparison to other things. Anyway.

I took astronomy in university as I always had a real urge to be able to name the various constellations in the sky, and I tell ya, during that one year, I was able to name a whole lot of them. Now though? I'm back to square one: Big Dipper, Little Dipper, Cassiopeia, Orion's belt...that's all I got. That class was exciting (kinda) and we learned all about the stars, black holes, phases of the moon and other sciencey stuff from the exact kind of man you would picture teaching an astronomy course. I can't really describe him, but if you saw him on the street, I'm pretty sure you'd be like, yah, that dude totally teaches astronomy class somewhere.

At my university we had this huge telescope. Like, the most giant telescope had to climb up into a building and then up a ladder to be able to look into it. And boy was it powerful. You could see the surface of the moon, and I mean, really see it, with all its craters and valleys and mountains, and it was amazing!

So last night there was a meteor shower...the Perseid Meteor Shower to be exact. It didn't reach it's peak until 2am, and I was fast asleep by then, but what I did see? Was pretty great.

We had to find the darkest place to watch it, so we went down to the beach and out onto the pier. We walked all the way out to the end of the pier, which is not lit at all, and sprawled out. I've never seen such cool shooting stars, not even up at the cottage. Some of them were huge, with giant, long tails. Every time one would shoot through the sky, we would get all excited, I saw one...did you see that one?? It was awesome!!

If anybody ever has the chance to watch a meteor shower, I would definitely say get your ass over to a dark corner of the world and watch the light show. It's amazing the things you can see when you're not stuck in front of a glass window of some sort.

The universe definitely gets a slow clap for the show last night.

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