Pat Shingleton: "Pebbles and Meteors..."
On this date in 1927, two young men were resting near a stream in the Tatra mountains bordering Slovakia and Poland. Suddenly stones began falling from the sky, splashing into the water, hitting their heads. Attempting to seek shelter in a nearby inn they were quickly “tossed out” as the inn keeper believed the devil followed them inside. In 1942, an orange-ish red light flashed around a barn in New Mexico prompting residents to touch the light. Suddenly, hundreds of grapefruit-sized rocks hit the same barn followed by a hugh fireball. In Austrailia in 1957 another episode of stones showered a farm. Following the incident farmhand Cyril Penny was pelted by pebbles for five consecutive days. Surprisingly, Penny witnessed the same phenomenon two years earlier.In closing, the top three meteor storms in the United States were in October, 1933, October 1946, and November 1966. At the Kit Peak Observatory in Arizona in November of '66, 2,400 meteors were recorded per minute. Many believe the Perseid Meteor shower this morning and tomorrow morning is the "Olympics of the shooting stars." With overnight cloud cover breaking, visibilities should improve as more than 100 hunks of space debris bop into the atmosphere at speeds of 135,000 miles per hour,burning up as they go. The meteoroids are tiny, sand to pea-size bits of rocky debris stripped from the passage of the comet Swift-Tuttle. The Perseid shower will reach its peak around sunrise. Grab the sleeping bag, point your toes east and enjoy the meteors zipping through the Milky Way. Trace the meteor's direction backward and you'll cross the constellation Perseus, near Cassiopeia.
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