Not too long ago I saw the maddest thing I’ve ever seen in my life and it inspired me to make a calendar for the meteor showers of 2021. It happened to me a couple weeks ago and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.
I recently got into waking up at 5am with the Mrs. We wake up, make a cup of tea then head outside onto the terrace, wrapped in blankets and everything to watch the sky. We live on the equator so it’s still dark that early, always. We’ve been doing this for months now and we’ve seen some interesting things, countless shooting stars and UFOs, ISS flyovers, satellites, full moons, Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn but the maddest thing I’ve ever seen happened on the morning of the 20th of July at about half past five.
We were sitting there watching the sky, when a massive fireball came flying in from space and just wouldn’t stop, it got brighter and brighter, it burned like magnesium, an intense blinding white light that was impossible to take my eyes off.
The sky turned blue and everything around us lit up like a bomb had gone off. This bright white light. I was just stunned, literally stunned. Val was clinging on to me. Time just stopped in that moment.
I sat there and I watched it with my jaw hanging open. The ball of fire went from the west of the sky to the north east, right in front of us, it must have lasted about 5 or 6 seconds, it left a massive trail. It looked like it was heading for town.
It finally burst into a shower of fireballs that just crashed into the ocean.
We saw the whole thing. We saw it enter the atmosphere, we saw it fly through the sky and crash into the sea. It was amazing.
Then it all went dark, and the stars came back. Then there was a boom, and a faint rumble.
We sat there until the sun came up with a “what just happened?” look plastered on our faces. It was the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen.
So naturally, I ran in to tell people what I had seen. No one seemed that impressed. Everyone was like oh yeah, I heard about that comet, Neowise. I was like “No, it wasn’t the comet. It was a meteorite!” I had to find proof of what happened.
I immediately went onto the internet to see if someone else had seen it and maybe even caught it on camera. Nothing. I knew there would be something. I just had to wait.
Eventually some local news station started reporting that strange lights had appeared, possibly from a meteorite. There was CCTV footage of the night turning to day but all of the footage was looking at the floor and not the sky.
Later an “expert” came along saying it was not a meteorite, he laughed at the idea and said it was an earthquake. I bet he felt like an idiot when an hour later a CCTV shot of it soaring over a hostel appeared. And I was like “Yes! Finally… vindication!”
But the weird thing was the rest of that day was like a dream. Because what had happened was so surreal. I was thrown into some kind of existential funk. The sky didn’t look the same to me anymore. I couldn’t think clearly, I kept replaying that awesome sight over and over again in my mind’s eye. I think I had some kind of meteoric PTSD.
Actually there was a brief moment, a split second, as the fireball was hurtling towards town that I thought ‘this could be it, this is how I go.’
Even though I knew, this isn’t going to do that much damage, something inside of me was confronted with the idea of instant annihilation. I think it’s as close as I’ve ever got to that feeling people get, you know when they say they’ve had a near death experience and now they have a new outlook and appreciation of life? I felt like that. I’m a new man I swear.
So it inspired me to create a calendar for next year with the most notable meteor showers to look out for in 2021.
I’ve found myself really fascinated by charts and calendars lately. I’ve got to a point now where I rely too much on the internet and apps to inform me what’s going on in the world around me and I’ve just had enough of it. I’m going old school and putting charts around the house. If you want to join me you can get this chart here.
The chart features:
☾ The name of each meteor shower
☾ The date of each shower’s peak
☾ The peak time to see the most meteors in Universal Time (UT)
☾ The phase of the moon at each shower’s peak
☾ It’s available in two sizes 8″x10″ or 16″x20″
Keep watching the skies!