11/17/09

Meteor Showers, Adventures & Horrific Pain

Posted by Bitten Usagi at 12:24 PM
So for those who don't know I am a total astronomy geek. I took Astronomy 101 & 201 in high school (part of a dual credit program where I got high school science credit as well as college credit while taking it with one of the coolest teachers I've ever had- yeah it was a total win.) and I've been fascinated with the stars and space since I was knee high to a cricket bug, or at least as long as I can remember. I'm sure my being a Trekkie and loving science fiction has a role to play in my love as well but I digress. I have missed every freaking meteor shower in the last like 10 years. I either fall asleep before I can view it, forget, it's cloudy or I'm immersed in other things like homework so when I found out about the Leonid Meteor Shower I decided I was going! I went online and found out the peak time was supposed to be 1:30 am to 3:30 am so I twittered to see if anyone was willing to brave freezing temps, my driving and the possibility of a gang rape (we do live in Greeley, CO after all so at that late of night that's a possibility anywhere in town) and of course my beloved bestie Kat was all for it. Well after she got layered up, found her phone and I layered up, unlayered in order to find my ever-elusive keys and then relayered we were on our way.

So we headed North (or was it East Kat? ;) No worries hun, my mother in law and I recently discovered that in Fairview, Utah the moon comes up in the south, LMAO) to go where my family does every year to watch the 4th of July fireworks thinking that was our best bet. Wrong. The farther North we got the foggier it got. >.< So we decide to head South to Evans in hope to find clear skies and that a spot on the outskirts of town that would make for prime real estate. I had a place in mind, a place by the bridge just as you come into town on highway 85 that I had been to to take photos and is completely innocent and unscary during daylight. Night however is a different story. After driving and then falling through ice into a pothole half the size of my lil Ichigo (my car's name is Ichigo, which is Strawberry in Japanese bc to be she's shaped like a strawberry) we pull up and realize exactly how scary it is and decide to turn tail, so I backed up a lil to flip a u-y. That's when it happened, something in the shadows moved, Kat yelled & then said something, and I wasn't staying long and didn't bother backing up again and high tailed it through snow praying Ichigo didn't pick now to get stuck in the snow for the first time. It was just a fox, and later I realized that's what Kat had said but all that was working was my flight response.

So we tried the Evans community complex parking lot to no avail as well. I realized that while searching for the peak time of the meteor shower I probably should have looked up where in the sky. I was trying to on my phone but the only site with a sky map on gave me the constellations Leo & Cancer to judge from and all I can recognize easily is the Big and little dippers and Orion. So then we went off to the UC, stared for a while, still not seeing a thing. I was still searching the interwebz for a helpful site and realized I can still find Casseopiea (sp?) which I made a little internal jump for joy about and then I finally found a site that told me what direction in the sky to look and we moved and right away saw one! That however was the beginning and end of our show though. We sat there for who knows how long before I saw it was damn near 3:30 and I said to hell with it and we went home. Lamest. Meteor. Shower. EVER. Granted I knew it wasn't going to be spectacular (unless you were in Asia where it got up to 200 to 300 meteors per hour) and was only supposed to be 20 to 30 per hour but 1? REALLY? Killin' me smalls, really killin me.

The good news though was that Kat and I had a late night, er, early morning adventure and some good laughs so it was worth it. It was a good distraction from my current woes, which I sorely needed. So for that, Kat, I thank you for being my meteor shower buddy and going to creepy places on the outskirts of the city. I look forward to seeing the video documentation, no matter how Blair Witch it turned out ;) (actually I liked the Blair Witch Project but that's a whole other can of wormies) and I'm happy we lived to actually post it to YouTube.

Now the horrific pain part, which is my current sitch. I gained a headache in my staring at the sky and took an Excedrin knowing full well that if I go to bed with a headache I will still have it or it will be a full blown migraine by morning. Well apparently I was mean to be in pain today and I had to take yet another Excedrin... and with that I bid you adieu as I can no longer stare at this computer screen without wanting to die. Thanks for reading.

^w^ Bitten Usagi ^w~

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