Over on Michigan in Pictures there’s a post about the 2010 Perseid Meteor Shower which peaks tonight (August 12, 2010). Check there for viewing information about this shower which can produce in excess of 50 meteors per hour. Last year on Michigan in Pictures, we noted that the July/August shower which is associated with Comet Swift-Tuttle is also known as The Tears of St. Lawrence:
Laurentius, a Christian deacon, is said to have been martyred by the Romans in 258 AD on an iron outdoor stove. It was in the midst of this torture that Laurentius cried out: â€œI am already roasted on one side and, if thou wouldst have me well cooked, it is time to turn me on the other.â€
The saint’s death was commemorated on his feast day, Aug. 10. King Phillip II of Spain built his monastery place the â€œEscorial,â€ on the plan of the holy gridiron. And the abundance of shooting stars seen annually between approximately Aug. 8 and 14 have come to be known as St. Lawrence’s â€œfiery tears.â€
Stories like that always make me wonder why the phrase “mean as a Roman” isn’t more popular. Persieds aren’t the only thing lighting up the sky recently. Michigan in Pictures also featured a post about the early August Northern Lights. The photographer was featured in the CNN video below, and another Michigan in Pictures regular Shawn Malone was featured in this National Geographic photo feature about how that Huge Solar Storm Triggered Unusual Auroras. So take a look up in that Michigan sky tonight with friends and family – it’ll be well worth it!