Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket
Never let it fade away - Perry Como
Or, if you believe the folklore, you may prefer to make a wish when you see a shooting star.
Either way, you’ll have lots of wishes and very full pockets this weekend, when it’s peak viewing time for the Perseids Meteor Shower in the Northern Hemisphere.
Between mid-July and late-August each year, the Earth passes through the dust and debris left behind by Comet Swift-Tuttle, the largest object known to pass by the Earth and its orbit with any regularity. When the debris enters the Earth’s atmosphere, it ignites and, for about 30-40 seconds, “shoots” across the sky, creating an impressive light show for those who gaze skyward. (Each bright light is caused by the passing of debris that is only about the size of a grain of sand!)
The shower’s peak week generally runs between August 7-14. This year, peak viewing nights are Saturday night/Sunday morning (August 11/12), and Sunday night/Monday morning (August 12/13). While meteorites may be visible throughout the night, the highest number of meteorites are expected around midnight and into the wee hours of the morning.
NASA Meteor Expert Bill Cooke states that, because they are “rich in fireballs,” the Perseid showers are among the most popular meteor showers to take in each year, particularly for amateur skywatchers.
Best of all, no special equipment is necessary to view the Perseids; they are best viewed with the naked eye while reclining on the ground, in a hammock, or on a reclining chair, allowing the skywatcher to take in as much clear, dark sky as possible. The moon is cooperating this year, as well, as the new moon takes place on August 11, and the tiny crescent will dip below the horizon before the midnight star show begins.
Atlanta-area skywatchers can expect up to 25 visible bursts per hour, according to the American Meteor Society’s website – www.amsmeteors.org – with the best viewing in areas with minimal light pollution.
Windsong homeowners have the advantage of viewing the nighttime sky from the sanctuary of their private courtyards, where a cozy hammock or zero-gravity chair provides a comfortable place to take in large swaths of star-filled sky. And if they happen to fall asleep while stargazing, the comfort of their luxury master suite is just steps away.
Welcome to Windsong – Where Life’s A Breeze!