two thousand twenty
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CONTRIBUTED by Seth C. Burgess, Lake Bluff Cottager's Association (18-Nov-2009)

The night sky over Lake Ontario was impeccable during the start of the 2009 Leonid Meteor Shower on Monday, November the Sixteenth. There and waiting--beckoning.

At 00:30, my cousin and I stepped out the cottage door and began our short trek to the bluff top. My Golden eagerly jumped up and raced ahead. I carried my camera bag and tripod--neither of which I would come to need, or want.

The cloudless air was brisk, the Lake breeze chilling. On top of the Bluff, we could see in the west the soft and glowing lights of Sodus Point. It was the eastern sky we desired most, however. That would be the place of the Leonids.

Careless of the condition of the ground, I dropped my camera gear and hastily oriented my tripod. Sinking first to my knees, I fell into a supine position and gazed immediately overhead. Stars. I adjusted my view toward the east. Big Dipper--handle down, cup up. As if the farmer's wife was scolding a mischievous child, or perhaps an undeserving husband.

Cousin directed me to look straight up and slightly to the south. He pointed out the constellation Orion, the four stars dotting the hunter's body and the three stars lining his belt. Hail, Orion the Hunter.

We returned to the eastern sky and saw our first, faint Leonid meteor spring there. Then over toward the north. Then northeast. We quickly found that these Leonids had independent minds, darting here and there, with no pattern or grouped location. Concentrating around the northeast over Lake Ontario, meteors danced left--and meteors danced right.

A few were quite bright with extended paths. One was like no other. Quickly forgetting that I brought any cameras at all, this night became a spectacle of wonder for which I had use for naught but the eyes in my head.

The special one--THE Leonid for us stargazers on the Bluff--flashed blindingly high in the northeastern night, cutting a negatively-angled path toward Sodus Point in the west. The meteor continued for a solid spell, and disappeared at the Milky Way. Quite briefly, the Leonid REAPPEARED on the western edge of the Milky Way and continued on its march toward Sodus Point for another strong dash. Wow.

An hour's time having passed the Golden, the Cousin, and the Recorder receded into the wood, a little cold of body and a lot warm of heart.

Dare the risk of stepping out of doors; fall down, and look up.


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2 Comments to "Leonid Meteor Shower"

  1. Videomark Said,

    A clear cloudless night for a meteor shower or the northern lights is a must see. Perhaps Wayne County Life can start a “Hot Line to the Heavens” Where we get an instant message on twitter reminding us to step out the door and enjoy the best show on earth and in heaven. Here is a link to few of my favorite nights in the past. http://www.peppermintcottage.com/star_g.htm

    Posted on Thu Nov 19, 08:31:00 AM EST

  2. Seth C. Burgess Said,

    Nice stargazing photos from the Peppermint Cottage in Lyons, New York.

    Wayne County does have a front-row seat for celestial occurrences. We have some great spots here that are largely unhindered by the light pollution of cities.

    We'll try to work that "Hot Line to the Heavens" into the Wayne County Life Twitter feed!

    Posted on Thu Nov 19, 03:28:00 PM EST


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