“The sky is crying…” – The Vigil and the Tears of St. Lawrence

If you ever get to look on Heaven’s scenes, you will find the streets are guarded
by United States Marines.

Those streets might be guarded by Marines, but tonight and for the next few days they will run with hot tears.

The sky is crying, look at the tears roll down the street.

Thanks to flaming comet dust moving at 60km per second.

Today is the Vigil of St. Lawrence, in the older, traditional Roman calendar, replete with purple vestments. Before our feasts we Catholics do some penance.

What this also means, however, is that it is time for the annual Perseid Meteor Shower, so called because the meteors appear to be streaking out from within the constellation Perseus.

The shower has been traditionally nicknamed the Tears of St. Lawrence.

Each year your little whirling blue ball zooms through the debris of a comet named Swift-Tuttle.

So, those of you in the northern hemisphere should get out there and watch the meteors. If you have children, make a plan. I have fond memories of looking into the heavens as a kid.

From SpaceWeather on 8 August:

Earth is entering a stream of debris from Comet 109/P Swift-Tuttle, source of the annual Perseid meteor shower. Forecasters expect the shower to peak on the nights of Aug. 11-12 and Aug. 12-13. Meteor rates could exceed 100 per hour during the darkest hours before sunrise. Sky map.

At Spaceweather be sure to check out the possibility of obtaining a model of “Mirror Kirk” sent to the edge of space on a big balloon… yes, “Mirror Kirk” from the infamous episode (one of the best) of the original Star Trek series.  You know the one… think “Bearded Spock”!

The other day at APOD I saw this incredible photo from the ISS of a meteor from the Perseid Shower of 2011… taken from above the meteor!  Right click for bigger.. or go to APOD.

“[T]he foreshortened meteor flash is right of frame center, below the curving limb of the Earth and a layer of greenish airglow, just below bright star Arcturus.”

And here’s a tune for you to enjoy while you hunt that down that Kirk figurine.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Just Too Cool, Look! Up in the sky! and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. VForr says:

    My dad loves this sort of thing. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. mo7 says:

    There’s too much light pollution here in metropolis. Leaving for the mountains on the weekend, maybe we’ll catch a few strays.

  4. That Guy says:

    I always thought that was a Stevie Ray Vaughn song. Who knew!?

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