The Tears of Saint Laurence

This morning at 3 I got up and went outside to view the perseid meteor shower. I have fond memories of doing this as a kid, although the word ‘shower’ in ‘meteor shower’ always seemed to give me exaggerated expectations. It’s one or two falling stars every minute or so with occasionally a big bright one. You should still be able to see it tonight and perhaps even over the weekend (if you live in the northern hemisphere) but it has already peaked. Watch the northern half of the sky after midnight onward, 2-4 am are probably the best times. You will need to get or be away from light pollution, this will mean driving out to the country where there aren’t streetlights, if you are unlucky enough to be a city dweller.

The perseid meteor shower begins every year at the tail end of July and continues into the second half of August. It typically peaks sometime around the 10- 14th. August 10th is the feast of St. Laurence. Laurence was a Roman deacon under Pope Sixtus II he was martyred in 258 by being roasted to death. The perseid meteor shower is also known as the ‘tears of St. Laurence.

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