Like so many, many other people across the globe last night, I stayed up 'til an ungodly hour to watch space rocks fall through our atmosphere. No, really, Lisey (roomie) and I went out to Drollinger Field (the one on top of Drollinger Parking Structure, where rugby and soccer hotties practice) at about 1 o'clock in the morning to see the Leonid Meteor Shower. We knew it wouldn't really peak until 3:30/4am, but we figured we'd go out early, see what there was to see, and then nap until about 3:30 and go out and see the rest until 4:30.
We bundled up in layers of jackets and boots and took towels and blankets. There were already a bunch of people out, waiting, and we laid down and got cozy and waited. Of course the sprinklers hit us so we had to move, but once we settled in again, we saw a couple of faint streaks until the most amazing thing happened. The first of the big ones. It was like a fireball falling from the heavens. Very few things in my life have ever made me weak in the knees, but that did. It was huge, and left a long, sparkling trail across the sky, and lit up the world like fireworks at Disneyland. The whole even only lasted about 3 seconds, but it was brilliant and moving and completely sublime.
It was a really awesome moment. We saw one other, slightly smaller, bright flying star, but then we decided to go in because we had waited about 10 more minutes and nothing happened, and said we'd go back out at about 3:30. I went to sleep and was so unconscious that Lisey couldn't wake me up, so I'm kicking myself that I didn't get to see the rest of it, but there's always next year. Maybe the western US will be in a better position for some 200-300/hr. action like Asia was this year. Never know.