Snippets #62, Tuesday, 10.Aug.2004 (ISSN 1530-9622)
_______________S N I P P e T S
_________________________from James S. Huggins' Refrigerator Door
___________________________________#62, Tuesday, 10.Aug.2004
_____1. Thoughts and Ramblings
_____2. The Perseid Meteor Shower
__________1. THOUGHTS AND RAMBLINGS
One of the pleasures of having my own newsletter (this ezine, to be specific) is that I get to write whatever I want and have other people read it.
Now, not everyone who subscribes actually reads it. Some subscribed, read a few issues and now just delete it when it arrives. For reasons only they know, they don't unsubscribe.
Some read some issues, or parts of some issues. Others (at least if you can believe what they write to me) read every issue, and just about every word in every issue.
Knowing that imposes a bit of a responsibility on top of the pleasure. Yes, I get to write whatever I want. But, I also have "expectations" of those who receive this mailing.
One of the balancing acts is to retain the personal joy of writing, to not let the responsibility become a burden, and yet to provide something that might be of some value to at least some of the readers some of the time.
So far I've been fortunate. If I ever stop, if it ever becomes not valuable, please write and tell me. I won't necessarily change, but I would like to know.
__________2. THE PeRSEID MeTeOR SHOWeR
This is kind of "urgent". You see, Wednesday night and Thursday morning is when this will happen. Not "tonight" but "tomorrow night". So, don't put this off to read till next week.
Wednesday night and Thursday morning there will be the Perseid Meteor Shower. It happens every year, but reports are that this year may be one of the best. If you like star gazing this is a must. If you only occasionally gaze up at the sky, Wednesday night and Thursday morning may be one of those times you should make that effort.
With help from USA Today and Robert Roy Britt of Space.com, here are some "cool facts" you might not know.
--- In space, the objects are called meteoroids. When they enter the earth's atmosphere they are called meteors. If they hit the ground they are called meteorites.
--- The Perseid meteoroids are speedy: 133,200 mph (relative to earth).
--- Most are the size of sand grains. A few are as big as peas or marbles. Almost none hit the ground.
--- The comet Swift-Tuttle created the cloud of meteoroids we call the Perseids. The comet is about 6 miles across, roughly equal to the object we think wiped out the dinosaurs.
--- The meteors heat to more than 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit (1,650 Celsius) passing through the earth's atmosphere. That creates the light we see as shooting stars.
--- The Perseids (and all shooting stars) are usually best viewed in the predawn hours because that is when "you" (wherever you are on earth) will be facing "into" the cloud of meteoroids as the earth scoops them up.
--- The Comet Swift-Tuttle was last seen in 1992. You needed binoculars to see it.
--- The comet was previously seen in 1862, when it was named by --- Swift and Tuttle. Abraham Lincoln was President. Astronomers think it was also observed in 188 AD and possibly 69 BC. It will be next seen in 2126.
The USA Today Article