Bill Nemitz: Feeling cleansed by the Perseid meteor shower


#Meteor #BillNemitzBill Nemitz: Feeling cleansed by the Perseid meteor shower : Where better to look, in this summer of our discontent, than to the heavens? “It’s just you and the universe. That’s the nice thing about it,” said Eric Harrison in the wee hours Friday as the stars passed – some more quickly than others – over a grassy hilltop in Kennebunk.

Harrison is a proud member of the Astronomical Society of Northern New England, which operates an observatory up a long dirt road off Alewive Road just inside the Kennebunk-Lyman town line.

It’s the perfect place for an extraterrestrial light show. It all started with the realization last week, somewhere between Hillary Clinton’s latest emails and Donald Trump’s latest call to arms, that I needed a break.

Not just an hour or two with the TV off and the laptop shut tight. No sir, I wanted something totally different, something as far away from American politics as I could get, something truly out of this world. Something like … the Perseid meteor shower.

I’d read about it for days – how this year’s shower was supposed to be the best since 2009, how the activity would peak with between 100 and 200 meteors per minute just before dawn on Friday, how all you needed were clear skies, a pair of eyes and a blanket to stretch out on and catch the greatest show not on Earth.