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Meteor showers are one of the most fascinating objects to see on the night sky. These swift, beautiful, fiery fireballs are often difficult to encounter unless one has the patience to see them.

I feel you. Just one distraction could cost a lifetime of remorse. It’s a wait or regret situation.

 

Enter Perseid Meteor Shower

Catching hefty amounts of shooting stars is a matter of luck and timing. I’ve had my most count at 12 streams of streaking lights during my four-hour watch from midnight to four in the morning.

They’re magical but elusive. However, these conditions can be bent every year between July and August as the earth scoops a shower of meteors producing 60 to a hundred of them every hour!

Imagine a bath of “falling stars”. It’s like the gods heard your prayers and sprinkled some high speed magical pixie dusts in the night sky for you to watch and wonder!

The stream originates near the constellation Perseus hence the name Perseid Meteor Shower. The shower had already started and you can see some of them tonight on the darkest portion of the firmament.

 

How Is this possible?

On the months of July and August, the earth passes within a certain comet’s orbit- the Swift-Tuttle. Thousands of dusts, ice and debris left on the comet’s path collide with our atmosphere at speeds of 132,000 miles per hour with temperatures reaching of up to 10,000 degrees.

 

Earth entering Swift-Tuttle's orbit

Earth entering Swift-Tuttle’s orbit. (Credits to the owner. Image not mine)

 

We see them streaking across the sky creating an abrupt radiant scratch as it vaporizes into thin air. This brilliant light show will peak on the 12th of August this year. You shouldn’t miss it especially if we’re talking about 60 meteors an hour!

 

But there’s a Full Moon on August 12…

Everything would have been perfect for a star gazing. However, a full moon will drown most of these falling stars on that date.

But that shouldn’t stop you from going out into the night and watch the spectacles unfold. The moon will set at around 3am providing you ample time to view the Perseid Meteor Shower.

You can also start seeing it tonight and you don’t have to be knowledgeable in locating the constellation Perseus. Just find any clear portion of the night sky and observe where these bolides originate. That would be Perseus.

Watching it from the Northern Hemisphere is even perfect because of the warm summer nights. As of this writing, I’m currently in Maas Anchorage, The Netherlands, hoping that we will sail soon so I could experience it firsthand.

 

Seaman’s Advantage

All these celestial events are best watched in a cloudless sky away from whatever form of light pollution. And when you’re sailing in the middle of the sea, everything’s set up for you to watch.

There’s no ideal place to see this than outside the accommodation where you have a complete view of the sky. Much more than that, stars are the only heavenly bodies illuminating the firmament which creates the perfect recipe for night gazing.

Fireball in the night sky during Perseid Meteor Shower

Fireball in the night sky during Perseid Meteor Shower. Source NASA

 

Shooting Stars as Stress Reliever

During my night watch, one of the objects I’m always keeping a good look out for are shooting stars!

I’m one of those crazy millennials who go ashore not looking for McDonalds, watches CNBC rather than MTV, does meditation on select places on board, invests a portion of my income regularly, reads lots of books, embraces crypto, follows Musk and Dalio in Twitter, and gets excited whenever I witness a 0.3-second shooting star!

How excited?

I don’t usually mind standing in front of the windshield for hours as long as I can see the stars. When the traffic is clear, most of my attention goes somewhere else.

Nagmumuni-muni kumbaga. You know how it goes.

Suddenly, a beautiful fireball would illuminate a portion of the night sky and that literally takes my breath away! Even when it only lasts a second, the smile it puts on my face and the positive energy it brings remains in me for hours.

 

Life on board can be boring. But the same life is too short to get boring, be boring and stay boring. There are always things that I get excited about even if our routine seems monotonous. Have a great and fantastic voyage and..

May the winds be on your favor.

 

 

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