Did you know that the annual Perseid Meteor Shower is nicknamed "The Tears of St. Lawrence"? The shower occurs every year around the feast of the
grate … great Saint as Mother Earth zooms through a cloud of debris deposited in the wake of the comet Swift-Tuttle. The shower is called the "Perseids" because the meteors appear to be stabbing out from the constellation Perseus.
The Tears peak tonight.
If you have children, even if you have to get them out of bed, take them out (with bug spray if necessary) and show them the meteors. There can be up to 60 per hour at the peak, so you won’t have to wait long.
One of the great memories of my childhood was being roused in the dead of night – in the even deader bleak midwinter – and lead out onto a frozen lake in northern Minnesota. Following my father’s pointing finger, I aw for the first time a bright comet hanging in motionless in the sky about three feet, it appeared, over my head.
One time I watched the Lagrime di San Lorenzo while lying on my back on a terrace of a villa overlooking the amphitheatre of ancient Cumae. And a few years ago, I watched the shower for a while with my mother, who was visiting.
Here is a note about the Perseids from the invaluable Spaceweather.
Spaceweather says you can even listen to the meteors and fireballs live, and even keep count of the meteors as they fry in the earth’s atmosphere.
If you go outside a little early on Thursday evening, around sunset, you’ll see a beautiful gathering of planets in the sunset sky–Venus, Mars, Saturn and the crescent Moon. It’s a nice way to start a meteor watch. Sky maps may be found at http://spaceweather.com.
BTW… you might try an old PODCAzT about St. Lawrence. Inspired by the Roman deacon, St. Augustine gives a real barn-burner. St. Augustine on St. Lawrence and how to be a Christian