Perseids & Fiddlers

On the past few nights, I went out back to observe the annual Perseid meteor shower, which generally peaks from August 11-14.  Produced by remnants of the Swift-Tuttle Comet, orbiting the sun every 133 years, the Perseids are known for both their abundance and their brilliance, often igniting long trails as they streak across the night sky.

Perseid watching was facilitated by nearly cloudless skies in Central Missouri this year though a bright "super-moon" obscured their clarity in the hours surrounding midnight.  Nevertheless, meteor showers are always inspiring events, reminding us that we are vulnerable to all that transpires beyond the realm of our tiny planet.

Since the Perseids grace Earth's sky during the late northern summer, the observer is serenaded by a host of crickets and katydids; the persistent din of these fiddlers is in sharp contrast to the silent, cold beauty of the night sky.  Surrounded by a riot of life, we gaze toward the heavens, wondering if similar choruses echo across other planets of this vast Universe.