Stargazing is a hobby that comes with a bit of a learning curve. It requires real intellectual engagement, specialized (and expensive) equipment, and a lot of free time when the sky is dark. So its understandable that only the truly dedicated might get into it in a meaningful way.
Or...is it? Because looking at the stars at night is one of the cheapest, oldest, and most egalitarian hobbies that's out there. Because the sky belongs to everyone, and people have been marveling at it for a very long time.
Last night, my wife poked me in the ribs, and showed me this image. "Guess what that is," she said.
"Oil paint mixed with water?" I guessed.
"No...those are clouds hovering over Jupiter."
This August 11th and 12th will be the peak of what is traditionally the biggest meteor shower of the year known as the Perseids, but this year it'll be the meteor event of the decade. Every year the Perseids features about 100 meteors per hour, but this week there should be double that due to the unique positioning of Earth's orbit this year...