Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Geminid Meteor Shower

Pogo and I should not be allowed to operate heavy machinery.

One of us gets an idea and that's all she wrote, as my late stepdad used to say. Actually this story has nothing to do with heavy machinery, but we are spontaneous women and there's no telling what would happen if we were behind the wheel. Beware any who makes women driver jokes!

This year, Pogo, whose sign is Gemini, tells me about the meteor showers. She only pauses for 2 seconds when I blurt out, "we should get together and see it" or maybe she blurted it, whichever. She then tells me the story of a few years ago that she and her family and her sister and her husband drove out to BFE to watch another meteor shower event. It's about 45 minutes from my house and it is in the middle of nowhere. She talked about how it was pitch black and so many stars twinkled. She also mentioned the twinkling eyes of critters just beyond the clearing.

It's obvious to us at this point that we need to drag our kids out into the middle of nowhere, in the pitch black, during hunting season, with critters eyeballing us in the distance. That's right, folks...another k1d k1ll1ng spree Adventure of Pogo and Robinella.

Actually, we were saved from certain doom and hunting misfires by a few things.

  • lack of sleep
  • clouds
  • lack of enthusiam
  • big hunkin' husband

The day of the big event, we were to call each other and finalize our plans. When we finally got a hold of one another, Pogo informed me that her astronomer source said it wouldn't be as great a show as was predicted. We'd still see "falling stars" but at only the rate of 1 per minute. Both of us being stay-at-home Moms, we were pooped on a Friday evening and the sky was clouding over. So, after much hemming and hawing, we got our second wind and decided to go for it, but on a smaller scale.

Instead of driving 45 minutes to risk seeing a cloudy sky, we decide to drive 20 minutes to a local park (it's in the country so darker than most areas). Pogo's hunkin' husband decides to come with and act as our protector - he's six feet something and he's a man - and that's what our men do - protect us from ourselves. The sky is only partly cloudy and they are moving.

We found a pretty dark spot to park near a radio tower and we all hunkered down in the back of the pick-up with blankets and Cheetos. I've got my new camera and unbeknownst to me, the fiddling my sister did with the buttons, probably wasn't good. I couldn't get a steady shot. I had my tripod but some of the shots I wanted were straight up. I've had this tripod for 5 years but have never taken a straight up shot, so wasn't able to adjust it properly in the dark. The standard preset for pictures in the dark and the steady shot button should have helped, but I think the button fiddling was too much to compensate for.

And no, I didn't get any meteor shots because they happened so swiftly that you recognized out of the corner of your eyes that it was flying past, but they were too fast to focus on them.

Here's my lame attempt at taking photos of the night sky.

The brightest star of Canis Major (I think):
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The belt of Orion:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


ps "BFE" = Surry County (Just an FYI - it's close to where a certain dog fighter home is currently being auctioned and someone set up an SPCA donation bucket during the auction *snicker* Nobody would bid high enough, so they closed the auction with no sale. Now he's going to list the house and maybe remove some of the dog houses *jerk*)

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