August 12, 2012 – Byers, CO: Perseid Meteor Shower

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Due to covering some emergency overtime at work Saturday night, I was unable to make it out to see the peak of the Perseid’s this year.  I was pretty bummed about it, but decided being the “good guy” at work would probably be best.  Sunday night was still supposed to be pretty good, so I definitely wasn’t going to miss it.

About 9:45pm I set off down I-70 and found a good spot in between Byers and Bennett.  X marks the spot…

The few remaining clouds burned off and I was in pitch dark with the Milky Way overhead.  It was perfect!  I knew that the Perseus constellation was the direction to look and that it was vaguely North-ish but I wanted to consult my Skyeye app for the specifics.  It wasn’t needed.  As I tried to pull the app up on my Nex7, a fireball flew across the sky telling me exactly where to look.

Even though there should’ve been more activity the later it got, I found that I saw more meteors from the 11pm-midnight hour.  In total I think I saw about 40.  They are incredibly tough to photograph and I only caught 2 all night.

The next felt like it went right over head haha!

About 2am I decided it was time to head home.  I got one last shot looking back toward Denver and think it’s a good reference to see just how much light pollution it gives off and how much it affects your ability to see stars at night.

I got back on I-70 via Bennett after stopping for a late night Mountain Dew and made my way home.  A mile or so down I-70, I noticed about 15-20 emergency vehicles headed the other way, where I had just come from.  Then a minute later I noticed a helicopter heading out as well.  I knew something bad had happened.  I turned on my scanner app on my phone and started listening in to the Highway Patrol feed, and sure enough, a pretty bad wreck happened not far from where I was.  I must’ve just missed it by a few minutes.  The next day, I saw this news story.  It’s pretty scary.  It makes me realize that as much as I enjoy driving all over the place to take photo’s, it’s risky business being on the road that much.  I trust myself, just not anyone else really.

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