I seen a shooting star once, whilst camping in the Lake district, it was the same night that I had my second ever kiss after some friends and I befriended some girls on the campsite, I was so besotted at the time that I probably made some soppy wish about us living happily ever after, that dream ended when when I called her house (yes, this was before mobile phones). Her father told me she didn’t want to speak to me and to stop ringing the house! It wasnt my fault I was in love!
Nobody else seen that shooting star except me, but they are quite common if you can find an area that’s unpopulated. The lack of street lights makes it dark enough for you to see the occasional meteoroid as it enters the Earths atmosphere and burns in flames, they’re sometimes no bigger than a grain of sand but to us looking up at the night they look like a star zipping through sky.
Every year from the beginning of mid July the comet ‘Swift-Tuttle’ zooms past the Earth, and with it comes debris causing a meteor shower that peaks on Aug 13th, with sometimes up to 60 or more shooting stars per hour being visible depending on how clear the sky is.
Not wanting any light interference me and some pals headed into the heart of the North Yorkshire Moors where there is a small but enchanting camping spot. After setting up the tent and finding wood for a fire we relaxed and had a bbq while waiting for it to get dark.
Ideally the best time to view the meteor shower is just before dawn, but nobody fancied staying awake till 4 in the morning, so at around midnight we all headed off up a big steep hill that turned out to riddled with rabbit holes. Despite only two torches between the seven of us nobody sprained any ankles.
We found a dry flat area at the summit and all lay there waiting for something magical to happen. Unfortunately it was quite cloudy and there were only certain pockets of clear sky visible.Then just as we were about to give up hope, a huge clearing emerged in the middle of the sky.
One by one each of us were spotting different shooting stars. The excitement was similar to playing the lottery, or being sat in a bingo hall waiting for numbers to be called, with each person being taking turns to be the first to spot another and shout, ‘There’s one!’
We seen around twelve in the forty or so minutes we had clear skies. Even when there were none to see it was still exhilarating to lay out under the stars in awe of the magic the universe provides. It’s a humbling experiences that should become a annual event for whenever the weather permits it!