November 19, 2002

Oh, be a fine girl - kiss me!

Despite the full moon and the light pollution of a major city, the Leonid meteor shower did not disappoint. Conditions were favorable enough for me to see nearly two dozen Leonids between 2:15 and 2:45am while sitting at the corner of Hill St. and Sanchez here in San Francisco. Several times I mistook the reflection of headlights off overhead power cables for astronomical objects ... and I have to remember that urban stargazing would be better if I brought along a flashlight to switch off the automatic streetlights. However, no amount of light or haze could have drowned out the one meteor I almost figured for a plane until I saw its broad, phosphorescent tail dissolve into the night sky.

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