A Pretty “Space-ial” Sight

Addy Stevens, Staff Writer

    Here on Earth, we don’t look up too often. We’re too trapped in our own minds, too focused on the ground beneath our feet, on the traffic jam we’re stuck in and all that homework we will make ourselves “forget” about when we get home. By the time the sun has set we are either half asleep or preparing to pull an all-nighter to complete all the work we procrastinated on. Most of our routines don’t include setting aside a few minutes to look up at the sky and the stars.
    But maybe we should be.
    It was maybe a year or so ago, I found out about this one meteor shower. A group of us made a plan, which included lots of blankets and snacks, and we were off to see the stars. It was really a calming experience, being up during the time when the majority are deep in their slumber asleep and unaware of the performance the night creates. It’s then, when this little town of Brentwood sleeps that the sky awakens with a roar, a flash, a dazzling display of lights that makes fireworks long to be of that splendor.
    I don’t pretend to be some space savant or anything. I’m just an admirer of the stars that types her curious hunger out for Google to feed. There’s a lot I haven’t got a clue about in the world of space but what I do know is this: everyone should see a meteor shower at least once in their lifetime. There’s so many astronomical events that occur every week. Are we really all that busy that we can’t set aside even just a few minutes to take a peek outside at the stars?
    The weekend of January 10, fourteen asteroids popped in for a quick hello in earth’s orbit. One asteroid in particular passed within 13x the distance between the earth and the moon which yes, sounds like a million miles away-actually, it’s really like 3 million-but in the world of space that’s considered close.
    The unique fact about this asteroid is that it’s 1,800 feet wide, making it wider than the Empire State building is tall. It was estimated to pass by earth at the rate of 6 miles per second.
    Now, chances are you didn’t know about this unique little visit from outer space- it’s cool no worries, I didn’t know about it until I started writing this article-but relax, there are plenty of cool astronomical events coming up this year to make you look up and wonder about the universe and aliens and how insignificant you truly are in retrospective. Here’s just a few:
    February 9: Full Moon, Super Moon. During the night the moon will be located on the opposite side of the earth as the sun, making it appear brighter and bigger than usual.
   March 14: Normid Meteor Shower. If you want a late-night or early-bird experience, this one’s for you. The shower won’t likely be visible until after 3:55 am but the good thing is it lands on a Saturday so you’ll be able to fully enjoy your lazy Sundays.
    April 22: Lyrid Meteor Shower. This one’s more doable for those of you who cherish your sleep. It’ll be visible after 8:53 pm but it is on a school night so that’s the downfall with this one.
    May 5: Aquariid Meteor Shower. This one won’t likely be seen until after 2:44 am and lands on a Tuesday. If you happen to be up late that night, finishing up homework or you just can’t sleep because of your sister’s snoring, take a peek out your window for a minute. You just might see a meteor a thousand miles away.
    Keep your eyes up to the sky guys and remember just how tiny of a speck of dust you are compared to all the galaxies out there. Stay spacey!