A Story of Failure: Perseid Meteor Shower

Sometimes we fail and failure is good (sometimes).

*DISCLAIMER* I work as the social media coordinator for a company full of physicists and engineers who make work like this look so easy.

Leading up to the “peak time” of the Perseid Meteor shower I researched, read, and watched many of the years’ prior showers to get an idea of what to look for. I saw maps of where to look in the sky and found which time was approximately best for optimal viewing, but I failed. There could have been a variety of contributing factors as to why I was unable to see or capture the meteor shower, but I attribute this to perfectly imperfect planning. The experience is only as good as the equipment I had to capture it, or at least that is what I had told myself. Sitting in a backyard with nothing but an iPhone, unfortunately was not going to do the job. Now I am sure anyone who has any experience whatsoever would laugh at me sitting in the backyard with my iPhone camera, but let me say I have successfully done something similar to this before. For about a couple weeks in 2015 I tracked the moon’s position in the sky and the sun’s position to observe their orbital elements for an astronomy class. That project proved successful, and was most likely a huge factor of my failure in this. For that project I used my iPhone camera and was able to gather data for most of the days I was observing for. For the Perseid Meteor shower that was unfortunately not the case.

small dot

Once I had realized that what I had to capture this shower (my phone) was not going to provide good coverage of the shower I slowly began to give up, which sadly starved any desire I had to watch the rest of the shower. Working on social media these past few months and being an avid user of it myself, I feel as if some experiences are not as great if they cannot be captured and shared. This is so far from how social media outlets should be used. I did not feel like I failed because of the camera I had available to me, because that was a miscalculation on my part; but I failed because I figured if I could not share it here it was no longer worth watching and that is a mistake I do not intend to repeat.

Just in case you did not see it, CNN did a wonderful recap: http://www.cnn.com/videos/travel/2016/08/12/perseid-meteor-shower-orig-al.cnn

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