In Pursuit of Perseids

The plan was part-week at the Nebraska Star Party (NSP) testing a super wide angle lens during the Perseid meteor shower. None of it worked out as planned.Excellent timing (no moon) for this years Perseid shower made it a must see event. Yet the weather, as always, determines ones meteor watching. On Wednesday I figured my best option was Monument Rocks in western Kansas.

Wednesday evening the sky was clear as predicted. After sunset the moon, just 2 days old, sat low in the west. As the sky darkened a trio of planets appeared with Venus leading the way (click images below for larger size).

Moon and Venus Three planes together, Venus, Saturn and Mars

Then came the meteors. Averaging 30 or more per hour, every hour I watched. Some faint and short lived, others burning brightly across the sky. All this with the glorious Milky Way as a backdrop, simply spectacular! This is why I go the distance, why I stay up all night.

Storm On The HorizonThursday night did not work out, just before sunset I checked the radar to find a serious storm bearing down on me. In thirty minutes I was packed up and on the road. As the sun set the approaching storms’ colors were awesome.One of the most interesting pictures of the trip I took out my truck window as I left Monument Rocks (click to enlarge).

It was clear at my house and even after driving for hours I watched the Perseids from my backyard. They only come once a year.