Monday, September 17, 2007

Shooting stars and watching Jupiter

For years, Adventure Girl and I have travelled to places where you might see a shooting star. These trips were usually taken with groups of Lutheran teenagers, but sometimes we were actually on our own. The thing is, Adventure Girl would spot shooting stars with very little difficulty. I would look over the top of my bifocals and hopefully wait for a flash in the sky. As soon as I would look away or go inside to use the bathroom, Adventure Girl would spot something meteoric. I would always miss it. But now, I don't feel so bad!

Every Monday morning on WHYY, the local PBS radio station, astronomer Derek Pitts does "Skytalk". His reports are usually pretty interesting: telescopes, space adventures, scientific advances and this morning... shooting stars! Shooting stars are actually bits of space junk about the size of a grain of sand. Something about the chemical interaction creates the spark, but then, the trail is only the width of a pencil lead!

If I was in a more preacherly mood, I might make something of all this. However, I am just feeling that maybe it's not a surprise that I haven't seen these shining wonders. What is amazing is that we get to see them at all!

On the other hand, I have been watching Jupiter for the past several weeks. It is shining big and bright just over the rising moon. When I sit on my front porch, it is positioned neatly over the bell tower of our church across the street. So cool! And Soda Chicky was impressed that I could point it out to her.

1 comment:

LutheranHusker said...

My family lived in Upper Michigan for a few years when I was a kid. On many crisp nights, my dad would get out the telescope and show me bunches of really cool stuff that I wouldn't have the foggiest idea how to find today. One thing I do remember though are the names of the 4 moons of Jupiter that are visible from the earth: Io, Ganymede, Callisto, and Europa.