A Clear Night

Mondays are my Firefly night, so I’m normally up after everybody else has gone to bed. After tonight’s episode I was checking the back doors when I spotted the sky and stepped outside. It’s the clearest night I’ve seen in a while, and the stars are quite something. I ran upstairs and dug out my binoculars. We must still be passing through the dust of Swift-Turtle as I saw four shooting stars, which pretty much doubles the number I’ve witnessed! One was particularly bright and long-lasting, definitely the most impressive I’ve ever seen. I spotted two planets for sure – I’d guess Jupiter and Saturn but I’m a little rusty – and probably Mars given the reddish tint. There were a couple of ‘moving stars’ I couldn’t identify. I picked up one through the binoculars; it definitely wasn’t a plane and it moved a fair distance before disappearing. I guess it must have been a dust grain in the very upper reaches of the atmosphere, but it’s easy to see how people could come up with more elaborate explanations. After ten minutes or so I started picking up on every rustle in the garden and got nervous so came back inside. It’s beautiful out there.