The mist was lifting in waves this morning here in Mayo in a game of “now you see me now you don’t.” Then the sun broke through and there was more magic.
“I don’t ask for the meaning of the song of a bird or the rising of the sun on a misty morning.
There they are, and they are beautiful.” By Pete Hamill
There is magic tonight skywards (weather permitting) the 2014 Leonid meteor shower is expected to be at its best tonight from late evening until dawn (17th/18th November).
This famous engraving of the 1833 Leonid meteor shower by Adolf Vollmy was based on an account of the 1833 Leonid meteor storm by a minister Joseph Harvey Waggoner who saw the shower on his way from Florida to New Orleans. In that shower, hundreds of thousands of meteors per hour were seen. However our sky won’t look like above engraving but the Leonids are a reliable annual shower hopefully we will see about ten to fifteen meteors per hour and the Leonids shower is known for having bright fireballs.
What else can you see skywards tonight? – The brightest object in the night sky at the moment is the planet Jupiter which is near the Leonid shower’s radiant point.
Also my favourite, the Pleiades star cluster (M45), known also as the Seven Sisters. In both myth and science, the Pleiades are considered to be sibling stars. The Pleiades stars were born from the same cloud of gas and dust a hundred million years ago, they drift through space together at about 25 miles per second some 430 light-years distant and these Pleiades stars shine hundreds of times more brightly than our sun.
Noting the course of the sun, the waxing and waning of the moon and the position of the stars were used by the ancients to plot the passage of time. The position of the Pleiades in the winter night sky was extremely important since antiquity to cultures around the world. It is believed Samhain, a festival of the ancient Celts coincided with the midnight culmination of the Pleiades constellation
The International Space Station can be seen in the morning (18th Nov) at 6:33AM over County Mayo.
So – in the dark of night as in the light of day this world has many wonders for us to enjoy.
“The person who doesn’t scatter the morning dew will not comb grey hairs.”By Hunter S. Thompson