16,000 meteors

Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

There was supposed to be a meteor shower tonight – 16,000 meteors descending through the earth’s atmosphere. So we stayed up to watch. There definitely was something going on, but I think I missed most of the 15,994 others. It strikes me that astronomy is a spectacularly boring hobby. A bit like fishing without the excitement of catching a fish. I had time to notice how bright the moon is. It’s only just past half full but it was like a huge searchlight in the sky. And I was amazed by how many planes there were. At one point I could see six – each following each other in single file, like flying busses.

I vividly remember the first time I saw a shooting star. We were on holiday in France, and it was huge and seemed to last forever. The story from my friend was that it portended a death. And sure enough, a couple of days later we had to head home early to see my very sick grandmother who died the next day.

Song of the day

This is the perfect song for today. It’s Vincent by Don McLean. It’s about Vincent Van Gogh, who painted the picture called Starry Night. Like many painters Van Gogh lived in the south of France, and so the story comes full circle.

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