On both Friday and Saturday morning, Bill and I got up at 3:30 to go hang out on our beach house deck in hopes of catching a glimpse of one of the Grape-Nut sized rocks shooting through the night sky. 

With hopes high that the beach would provide a very dark sky for optimal viewing of the meteors as part of the Perseid Meteor Shower, we set our alarm so we could get up after the moon set when viewing would be at an optimum. 

On Friday morning I counted 61 meteors during the 45 minutes we were hanging out on our deck. Excited with such great success, we eagerly got up again the following morning. when meteor viewing was supposed to be optimal on the east coast. The sky was just as clear as the morning before, but the meteors were a lot more shy and I only counted 32 during our two hours outside. While out, we walked down to the beach for Bill to take pictures with his fish eye lens. If you look toward the bottom center of the picture, you’ll see one of the meteors.


Photo Credit: Bill

All of this star gazing and meteor watching reminded me of a really funny thing that happened back in 1999. During a meteor shower (I believe the Leonids), my friend Miles and three of our other running friends drove about two hours out into the Virginia countryside in the wee hours of the morning. They took lawn chairs and planned to watch the meteor show away from the lights of suburbia. 

Later that day, Miles called to tell me about his last-minute stargazing excursion with our friends. Too excited to let him tell me why he’d called, I blurted out about seeing a ton of meteors shooting through the sky as my friend and I headed out on our 6 AM run along the parkway in our neighborhood. 

Yes, through pure dumb luck I’d witnessed shooting stars lighting up the sky when I wasn’t even expecting them. Poor Miles and his meteor chasing sidekicks had wasted precious sleep, driven several hours round trip, and hadn’t seen a single meteor…


  • Questions:
  • Did you see the Perseid meteor showers?
  • What cool things have you seen in the sky while on an early morning or late night run?
  • Have you ever been to a planetarium?